David Kininnook photograph collection, circa 1887-1905  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Kininnook, David
David Kininnook photograph collection
circa 1887-1905 (inclusive)
12 items (1 folder) : 9 photographic prints, 1 postcard, and 1 letter and 1 manuscript (photocopies)
Collection Number
Chiefly photographs of totem poles and native villages, Ketchikan, Alaska, and images of Tlingit Chief William Kininnook and the wedding of Lucy Kininnook and Edward Mardsen, 1887-1905.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

In a 1905 letter to Edmond Meany written in Ketchikan, Alaska, David Kininnook referred to the Seattle Totem Pole, which had been taken from the native Tlingit village of Tongass in 1899 and placed in Pioneer Square, Seattle. This pole belonged to the Raven clan, Kininnook being the English surname for the clan. As a native Tlingit, David Kininnook was active in protesting the unauthorized removal of totem poles from native villages. Edmond Meany (1862-1935) was a prominent figure in Seattle at the turn of the century. He had served as the editor and publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , as a state legislator, and as the first registrar and head of the history department of the University of Washington. He was also an industrious historian who wrote several books and numerous articles about the Pacific Northwest.

The Tongass village joined the Cape Fox Tlingit village, which had relocated in 1894 to form the Saxman village, several miles south of Ketchikan. (Photographs of Chief William Kininnook and his home are from the Saxman village.) New Metlakatla on Annette Island, south of Ketchikan, was settled by Anglican missionary William Duncan and a group of native Tsimshian followers who moved from near Prince Rupert, B.C., seeking religious refuge. The group dedicated their settlement on August 7, 1887.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains images of native Tlingit villages and totem poles in southeastern Alaska, as well as a portrait of Tlingit Chief William Kininnook and an image of his house in Saxman, Alaska, ca. 1903. Images also include native members of a marching band at New Metlakatla, Alaska, 1887. The wedding photographs of Tlingit native Lucy Kininnook and Edward Marsden may be from New Metlakatla as well. The collection also contains a postcard, letter, and essay from David Kininnook to Edmond Meany titled "The Story of the Indian Tribe," which details the iconography of totem poles. The correspondences (1905) refer to photographs Kininnook gave to Edmond Meany.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

PhotographsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1 undated
1 2
 Totem pole and buildings at Ketchikan, Alaska
Written on photo: Ketchikan Totem Pole.
1 3 undated
1 4 circa 1903
1 5 circa 1903
1 6
 Native American members of the New Metlakatla Cornet Marching Band, New Metlakatla, Alaska
On this date the settlers of New Metlakatla dedicated their town.
Aug. 7, 1887
1 7
 Lucy Kininnook and Edward Mardsen
Printed on front: Mrs. Edward Marsden (Lucy Kininhook, full-blooded Thlinget) and Rev. Edward Marsden (full-blooded Simpsean), Presbyterian minister in Alaska.
1 8 circa 1903
1 9 circa 1903

Paper DocumentsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
2 10 April 1905
2 11
One-page letter to Edmond S. Meany from David Kininnook
May 1905
2 12
Handwritten document titled "The Story of the Indian Tribe"
Discusses the iconography of totem poles among the Tlingit.
circa 1905

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Tlingit Indians--Alaska--Photographs
  • Tlingit Indians--Alaska--Social life and customs
  • Totem poles--Alaska--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Weddings--Alaska--Photographs
  • Personal Names :
  • Kininnook, Lucy--Photographs
  • Kininnook, William--Photographs
  • Marsden, Edward--Photographs
  • Meany, Edmond S. (Edmond Stephen), 1862-1935
  • Geographical Names :
  • Annette Island (Alaska)--Photographs
  • Metlakatla (Alaska)--Photographs
  • Saxman (Alaska)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints
  • Postcards