George Shiras III, the noted wildlife photographer and congressmen, may not have been a native of Marquette, but his impact on the city is still seen today. He was born in 1859, graduated from Cornell University in 1877, and graduated Yale Law School in 1883. He quickly joined his father’s law firm after graduation and stayed there until 1904. He served on the Pennsylvania legislature and also as a member of Congress. During his congressional term he introduced the Migratory Bird Bill which President Theodore Roosevelt supported and consequently resulted in a friendship between the two.
At a young age, Shiras began his love of the outdoors and throughout his life this love would earn his title as an amateur nature photographer and world-renowned animal naturalist. Many recognize him as the father of wildlife photography and he had inventions in photography patented. He began visiting the U.P. in 1870 when he was 11 years old. He contributed to National Geographic Magazine, and he also discovered a new species of moose. Roosevelt even suggested Shiras write a book about his experiences.
Here at the Archives we have a Shiras collection which includes correspondence between him and Roosevelt, drafts of a manuscript (“Tentative Biographical Sketch of George Shiras 3rd”), and a draft of a first-person memoir, “Law, Lawmaking, and Politics.”
If you would like to learn more information about Shiras or view the collection, stop by the Archives located on the first floor of the LRC in room 126. The Finding Aid is located at http://www.nmu.edu/archives/sites/DrupalArchives/files/UserFiles/MSS-242.html.
Prepared by Alexandria Eisner and Savannah Mallo