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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Transportation in America before 1876 Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 Delivering the Goods: Watsonville, California, 1895 A Streetcar City: Washington, D.C., 1900 The Connected City: New York, New York, 1920s Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 Americans Adopt the Auto Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 The People's Highway: Route 66, 1930s-1940s Roadside Communities: Ring's Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s Family Camping: York Beach, Maine, 1930s On the School Bus: Martinsburg, Indiana, 1939 Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s On the Interstate: I-10, 1956-1990 Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960-1970 Going Global: Los Angeles Introduction H. Nelson Jackson: Immigrant, Migrant, Adventurer, Traveler Harry Bridges: Immigrant, Adventurer, Traveler Mary Johnson Sprow: Migrant, Commuter Fred and Maryann Knoche: Commuters, Errand Runners, Vacationers Juana Gallegos Valadez: Immigrant, Traveler
5: People on the Move

H. Nelson Jackson: Immigrant, Migrant, Adventurer, Traveler

Nelson Jackson is best known for his pioneering trip across the country by automobile. But that trip was only one of many transportation stories in his life. Jackson’s great-grandfather, John Jackson, was born in 1771 in Massachusetts but fled to Canada during the War of 1812. Born in Kingston, Canada, in 1872, H. Nelson Jackson traveled to the United States to attend medical school, and decided to stay. In 1899 he married the daughter of a prominent Burlington, Vermont, family. For more on Nelson Jackson and his journey across the continent, see the Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming section of this exhibition.

Nelson Jackson pushing the Winton
Nelson Jackson pushing the Winton
Nelson Jackson in uniform
Nelson Jackson in uniform

Off to Alaska and Mexico

In 1900 Nelson Jackson and his wife Bertha migrated to the frontier lands of Alaska to mine for gold in the Yukon Valley. In 1904 they moved to Santa Eulalia, Mexico, to look for silver. After six years as manager of the Buena Tierra mine, Nelson negotiated its sale, and the Jacksons returned to Burlington, Vermont. They spent the rest of their lives as pillars of their New England community.

Shipping Out for God and Country

Despite his age, 45, Nelson Jackson joined the army during World War I and was sent to France on the Leviathan, a passenger liner turned transport ship. While serving as a doctor in the Medical Corps, he was severely wounded at the Battle of Argonne (Montfaucon). After returning home, he traveled extensively, founding and promoting the American Legion and championing services for
disabled soldiers.

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