William Henry Jackson, as a member of the U. S. Geological Survey exploring the Teton country
William Henry Jackson aboard the Detroit Photographic Co. Special train
Jackson in later life
William Jackson enlisted in October 1862 as a 19-year-old private in Company K of the 12th Vermont Infantry of the Union Army. He spent much of his free time sketching drawings of his friends and various scenes of Army camp life that he sent home to his family as his way of letting them know he was safe.
William Jackson served in the American Civil War for nine months including one major battle, the Battle of Gettysburg. He spent most of his tour on garrison duty and helped guard a supply train during the engagement. His regiment mustered out on July 14, 1863.
William Jackson then returned to Rutland, where he worked as an artistic painter in post-Civil War American society.
In 1858 William Jackson went to work as a retoucher and colorist in C.C. Schoonmaker's photographic portrait studio in Troy, New York, and in 1861 he worked for the Mowrey Studio, Rutland, Vermont.
In 1866 he traveled to the West as a trail drover for a Mormon wagon train. In 1867 along with his brother Edward Jackson he settled down in Omaha and entered the photography business. On ventures that often lasted for several days, he acted as a "missionary to the Indians" around the Omaha region, and it was there that William Jackson made his now famous photographs of the American Indians: Osages, Otoes, Pawnees, Winnebagoes and Omahas.
From 1870 to 1878 William Jackson was the official photographer for the U.S. Geological & Geographical Survey of the Territories (the Hayden Survey), working in the Wyoming area in 1870-1872 and in Colorado in 1873. At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 he acted as a guide with the Hayden Survey exhibit.
In 1879 William Jackson opened a studio in Denver, the Jackson Photographic Company, specializing in commissioned landscapes for the railroads. He was official photographer at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and in 1894-1896 Harper’s Weekly commissioned him to travel around the world on assignment for the World Transportation Commission.
William Jackson was director of the Photochrom Company from 1897 to 1924 and became part owner of the Detroit Publishing Company in 1898. From 1929 to 1942 William Jackson was research secretary for the Oregon Trail Memorial Association.
At the age of ninety-two, in 1935, the artist was commissioned by the Department of the Interior to do a series of murals for a new building. In 1942, William Jackson died at the age of 99 in New York City.
Railway train of the Italian Line, Marsa1894
Survey Camp, Yellowstone National Park1871
F.V. Hayden Expedition, Wyoming
A street market in Mexico City1884
Canton harbor crowded with sampans
Solomon Islands warriors1895
Harbor in Madras1895
Group of Tamil natives at the pier1895
Chinese American child in embroidered jacket1900
Shirley Plantation, James River, Virginia
Lone Star Geyser, Yellowstone1878
William Jackson was a member of the Explorers Club, a life member of the National Photographers Association (from 1873), president of the Colorado Camera Club in 1900 and an Honorary Fellow of RPS (1938).