APRIL 15, 1883


Shotridge, born in Klukwan, Alaska, was from two prominent Tlingit families.  He met his future wife, Florence, while at high school in Haines, Alaska. In 1905, the governor sent Florence to the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, to demonstrated Chilkat weaving. Accompanying her, Louis met the Curator of Ethnology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Museum. In 1912, Louis enrolled in the Wharton School of Business. By 1914, after completing Wharton, he assisted anthropologist Franz Boas before becoming UPenn Museum’s Assistant Curator. From 1915-30, Louis made 4 expeditions to Alaska to purchase items and record tribal stories and songs. An active member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB), he was elected ANB Sitka Grand President in 1931. With the Great Depression, Louis’ museum position was terminated in 1932. While working as a salmon cannery inspector, he suffered a fall and died August 6, 1935.

Source: “Louis V. Shotridge,” The Louis V. Shotridge Digital Archive, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.  Retrieved 6/27/2020, https://www.penn.museum/collections/shotridge/shotridgebio.html
Photo:  William H. Witte, circa 1913.  Public Domain.

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