"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

01 December 2016

❖ CAPT. TOZIER'S INDIAN CURIOS ❖

Captain Dorr F. Tozier, US Cutter GRANT.
Top row right.
He brought the GRANT around the Horn from New York
in the 1890s and remained in command for 14 years.
Here he is visiting Numukamis Village on Barclay Sound, 

Vancouver Island, BC.
Photograph by Samuel G. Morse
21 Jan. 1902.
Courtesy of the WA. State Historical Society.
# 1917.115.217 

click on image to enlarge 

The text below is typed verbatim from the San Juan Islander newspaper 21 Jan. 1904:

"The Tacoma Sunday Ledger of 10 January [1904] devotes over eight columns of space to an illustrated article on Capt. Dorr F. Tozier, of the Revenue Cutter GRANT, and his great collection of northwestern Indian curios, the largest private collection of the kind in the United States, now stored in the Ferry Museum at Tacoma.
     
Revenue Cutter GRANT
courtesy of Capt. Davis (USCG) ret,
Coast Guard Museum Northwest,  Seattle, WA.
      Friday Harbor has long been one of Capt. Tozier's favorite ports on Puget Sound, and the GRANT, carrying four mounted guns, seven officers and thirty-three men, and still staunch and graceful despite her thirty-three years of service, often lies at anchor in the sheltered waters of our lovely harbor. 
      Quite a number of baskets and other specimens of Indian handiwork in Capt. Tozier's great collection were obtained in this county. The Ledger says of the collection as a whole that 'these records of the aborigines of the northwest will be known and valued by scientists and scholars and the name of their collector preserved when all trace of the GRANT and the people she cruised among shall have passed away.
      'Over 4,000 baskets, representing the best weaving of the northwest tribes, are to many the most interesting part of the collection, but for the student of ethnology, to the one interested in race history, there is an inexhaustible mine of information ready to his hand. There are twelve old tribal totems of different designs gracing the large room in awesome majesty. There are dozens of carvings, grave figures, feast bowls, tamanawas, emblems of every description. There are all kinds of hunting and fighting implements, kayaks of skin, and canoes of several varieties. A wonderful collection of ancient stone implements has been given close attention by the captain, who has sought particularly to make this collection educational in character. He is constantly adding new treasures received from the agents he has employed in the interior of Washington and Alaska to secure rare and interesting articles. On his last visit he brought to the museum a quantity of carved pieces of black slate-stone, the treasured work of a worthy member of the Chilkat tribe, very rare and very beautiful, even in the aesthetic, rather than the scientific sense. This work is exceedingly rare, and was purchased at a great price. It adds enormously to the collection, showing the high artistic development of some of the western tribes, and, an interesting point, the similarity of their ideas and workmanship to that of Asiatic peoples."

A fraction of Capt. Tozier's artifacts, c. 1905.
Model canoe, houseposts, sculptures, part of a house front,
masks and a replica of a copper.
The collection first exhibited at the Ferry Museum (Tacoma,)
then removed to Seattle in 1909 and finally to
the National Museum of the American Indian under the
Smithsonian, WA. DC.
This photo c. 1905 courtesy of the WSHS #19543.19

1894, October: 
      The GRANT, Capt. Tozier, normally cruising the islands from Pt. Townsend, was in drydock at Quartermaster Harbor to have barnacles scraped from her hull––120 bushels of them. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

1907, September:
      Capt. D.F. Tozier has been placed on the retired list, having reached the age limit of active service. For several years past he has been assistant superintendent of the 13th Lighthouse District, with headquarters in Portland. He is a native of Maine, and has spent forty years in the government service, twenty of them on the Atlantic and then each on the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast. He was in command of the GRANT when she came around the Horn from New York and for a time, had been master of New York Harbor. He has one of the greatest collections of Indian baskets and curios in America, most of them gathered during his service on the Puget Sound and Alaska. He is now in San Francisco. San Juan Islander newspaper.


1912, January 26 :
      According to the San Juan Islander newspaper––"Capt. Tozier was in Seattle this past week to visit friends in Seattle and was a guest of the Washington Art Association who purchased his great collection of Indian curios.*
      Capt. Tozier was often here [Friday Harbor] in the GRANT and had many acquaintances in this county. The old cutter that was condemned a few years ago and sold to a Seattle fish company, was recently wrecked on the coast of Vancouver Island. Capt. Tozier intends leaving soon for an extended trip to Egypt and European countries."

* There is more to the story of the art collection leaving Washington State and ending up in New York and then Washington DC. I suspect there will be another post on the heist, to follow soon.


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