A President in Yellowstone: The F. Jay Haynes Photographic Album of Chester Arthur's 1883 Expedition (The Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West)

A President in Yellowstone: The F. Jay Haynes Photographic Album of Chester Arthur's 1883 Expedition (The Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West)

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 080614355X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


On the morning of July 30, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur embarked on a trip of historic proportions. His destination was Yellowstone National Park, established by an act of Congress only eleven years earlier. No sitting president had ever traveled this far west. Arthur’s host and primary guide would be Philip H. Sheridan, the famed Union general. Also slated to join the expedition was a young photographer, Frank Jay Haynes. This elegant—and fascinating—book showcases Haynes’s remarkable photographic album from their six-week journey. 

A premier nineteenth-century landscape photographer, F. Jay Haynes, as he was known professionally, originally compiled the leather-bound album as a commemorative piece. As only six copies are known to exist, it has rarely been seen. The album’s 104 images are accompanied by captions written by General Sheridan’s brother, Colonel Michael V. Sheridan, who wrote daily dispatches that were distributed by the Associated Press.

In his informative introduction, historian Frank H. Goodyear III provides background about the excursion and explains the historic and aesthetic significance of Haynes’s photographs. He then re-creates Arthur’s journey by reintroducing Haynes’s stunning images—along with Sheridan’s original captions—including views of the Tetons and other landmarks; portraits of President Arthur, General Sheridan, and fellow travelers engaged in activities along the route; and images of the Shoshone and Arapaho leaders who gathered to greet the visiting party.

Published on the occasion of the reopening of the Haynes Photography Shop in Yellowstone, A President in Yellowstone offers a unique entry into the park’s storied past.

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the president and his party, but rather the Shoshones and Arapahoes on the Wind River reservation who had gathered to greet President Arthur. As Haynes reported to Lily, a large delegation, led by Washakie of the Shoshones and Black Coal of the Arapahoes, came forward to meet and to exchange presents with the president. Arthur received several gifts, including a pony that was intended for his eleven-year-old daughter, Ellen. He then reciprocated by presenting blankets and saddles to various

about 60 large plates instead of 35 I would like it better. However, I am taking it slow and sure.”50 This shortage of supplies proved to be unfortunate, for by the time the party reached Yellowstone Haynes had only three large plates and less than a half-dozen small plates left. As a result, the photographic coverage of Arthur’s time in the park was very limited. In the album, Haynes ended up including twentythree small-format views of famous landmarks in the park that he had captured during the

fishing tackle belonging to the president.”76 As a young man, before the Civil War, Arthur had traveled with a friend from his home in New York to Kansas. He contemplated settling in the West, but eventually returned back east after several months, upon learning of the sudden death of his fiancée’s father. In these new rooms in the White House, the president surrounded himself with reminders of both his youth and his recent trip. Haynes’s album served a similar function. The idea to commemorate

1555) FORT WASHAKIE, WYO., Aug 7.— The President and party left Green River Station on the Union Pacific Railroad, at 7 o’clock the morning of the 6th, having spent Sunday at that place. The three spring wagons in which the party were seated were drawn by four fine mules to each vehicle, and the first day’s drive was made by relays which had previously been placed twenty miles apart; one hundred and one miles had been covered, and the evening shadows had only commenced to settle behind some of

twice crossed the Continental Divide in the space of twenty miles. For the toils of the march we have, however, received abundant compensation since we halted. Our camp is in one of the most attractive spots which has greeted our eyes since we began our tour through the wilderness. It affords us a view across the widest breadth of a more magnificent sheet of water than any other of equal altitude in the known world. 108 109 O l d Fai thful in Actio n (1458) Cam ping Point—Y el l owstone Lake

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