Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This was a survey headed by Isaac Stevens, the first governor of the newly created Washington Territory. The purpose of the survey was to explore a route across Montana between the 45th and 49th parallels for a transcontinental railroad. This survey split into smaller expeditions, each exploring possible routes across Montana (Figure 13). As a result, many previously unexplored areas of Montana came under professional scrutiny. Spencer F. Baird of the Smithsonian Institute was placed in charge of organizing the natural history portion of the expedition and selecting the naturalists who would accompany them. Among those he selected were George Suckley, James Graham Cooper, and John Pearsall, all who were able to accumulate a wealth of natural history information. These surveys also employed professional artists and the resulting reports are accompanied by beautiful illustrations.
Albright, G.L. 1921. Official explorations for Pacific railroads, 1853-1855. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley. Baird, A.B. 1857. Mammals (Part 1), in: Reports of explorations and surveys ....for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Vol. 8. 757 pp. Baird, S.F. and G.N. Lawrence. 1858. Reports of explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Birds, Vol 9., A.O.P. Nicholson, Washington, DC. 1005 pp. Cooper, J.G. and G. Suckley. 1854. The natural history of Washington Territory, with much relating to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, and California, between the thirty-sixth and forty-ninth parallels of latitude, being those parts of the final reports on the survey of the northern Pacific railroad route, containing the climate and physical geography, with full catalogues and descriptions of the plants and animals collected from 1853-1857. Bailliere Bros., New York. Girard, C. 1858. The fishes of the Pacific Railroad Survey. Pacific Railroad Reports, 10:1-400. Goetzmann, W.H. 1959. Army exploration in the American west 1803-1863. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT. Goetzmann, W.H. 1967. Exploration and Empire: The explorer and the scientist in the winning of the west. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Hume, E.E. 1942. Ornithologists of the United States Army Medical Corps. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD. Mullan, J. 1855. Report of an exploration from Fort Benton to the Muscle Shell River, and thence by the southern Little Blackfoot River to the St. Mary's River. in: Stevens, I.I., compiler. Report of exploration of a route for the Pacific Railroad-Governor Stevens' report to the Secretary of War. Senate Executive Document 78, 33rd Congress, 2 Sess., v.1. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington, DC. Mullan, J. 1855. Report of a reconnaissance from the Bitter Root Valley to Fort Hall and back. in: Stevens, I.I., compiler. Report to the Secretary of War. Senate Executive Document 78, 33rd Congress, 2 Sess., v.1. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington, DC. Suckley, G. 1860. Report on the fishes collected on the Pacific Railroad Survey. Pacific Railroad Rep., 12(Pt. III), No. 5:307-368. Thompson, L.S. 1985. Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists. The Montana Magazine, Helena. U.S. War Dept. 1855-1860. Reports of explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. 12 vols. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington, DC.