Gustavus Sohon Drawings, 1858

Overview of the Collection

Sohon, Gustavus
Gustavus Sohon Drawings
1858 (inclusive)
1 container., (.25 linear feet of shelf space.), (3 items.)
Collection Number
Cage 556
Three pencil drawings: Great Falls of the Spokane River, 1858; View of the Snake River at Mouth of the Tukanon, 1858; Camp on the Spokane River, Sep. 6, 1858; annotations.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Gustavus Sohon was born in Tilsit, Germany on December 10, 1825. He came to America at the age of 17 and lived in Brooklyn, New York. On July 2, 1852, he enlisted as a private in the United States Army, at the age of 26. He was ordered West for service on the Pacific Coast.

A gifted linguist (he spoke English, French, and German), Sohon quickly learned the Salishan languages of the Flathead and Pend D'Oreille Indians. He also made drawings of the country and important landmarks while working on expeditions. These drawings were useful in later expeditions.

At the request of Washington Governor Stevens, Sohon was transferred to his command. Stevens had been very impressed with Sohon's work. On later expeditions Sohon worked as map maker and barometrical observer as well as sketcher and interpreter. Sohon was involved in the building of the Mullan Road, the first wagon road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton.

On July 29, 1863, Sohon married Juliana Goh and moved to San Francisco, California. There Sohon opened a Photographic and Ambrotype Gallery. He finally closed his shop and moved back to the East Coast in 1865 or 1866 and lived in Washington, D.C. There he died on September 3, 1903.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item Description]. Cage 556, Gustavus Sohon Drawings . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The drawings of Gustavus Sohon were purchased in 1982.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

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

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Great Falls of the Spokane River
1 item. : Drawings ; 20 x 18
1 View of the Snake River at mouth of Tukanon
1 item. : Drawings ; 10 x 21
1 Camp on the Spokane River
1 item. : Drawings ; 17 x 22

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Snake River (Wyo.-Wash.)--Pictorial works
  • Spokane River (Idaho and Wash.)--Pictorial works

Personal Names

  • Sohon, Gustave--Archives (creator)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Drawings
  • Sketches