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[Original Albumen Panoramic Photograph of Sitka with the Governor's Mansion and Russian Orthodox Church]
[Sitka], [ca. 1896]. Photograph 18x48 cm (7½ x 19 in). Photograph bisected vertically and mounted on two slightly larger contemporary mounts. Mounts slightly edge worn. Photograph a bit faded, but in very good condition. An attractive, early panoramic photograph of Sitka, Alaska, showing the waterfront including the Governor's Mansion and St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Church, with mountains in the background. A young fisherman sits in a small boat in the bottom foreground of the image. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Michael, visible in the right side of the picture, was founded in 1848. The three-story governor's residence sits on a hilltop overlooking the harbor, and an American flag flies near it. Smaller one- and two-story structures, including warehouses and homes, are seen along the entire length of the waterfront. The photograph is unsigned, but is attributed to N.B. Miller. Carl Mautz notes only that N.B. Miller was a (possibly amateur) photographer active in Alert Bay on Vancouver Island, circa 1888-89. However, Miller served as the assistant naturalist for the United States Treasury Department Fur Seals Investigations in 1896 in the Pribilof Islands (an island group in the Bering Sea). Not simply an amateur, he was a talented photographer, and it seems likely that this photograph was taken while he was doing his work with the fur seals commission in 1896. Sitka was made the capital of Russian America in 1808, and it was the seat of the American territorial government after the transfer of power from Russia to the United States in October, 1867. Sitka remained the capital of the Alaska Territory until 1908, when the capital was moved to Juneau. See the website of the Univ. of Washington Library, Special Collections "Guide to the Alaska Marine Resources and Pribilof Islands Photograph Collection ca. 1896-1909" for further examples of Miller's work. Mautz, p. 67 (ref).