A selection of notable acquisitions from 2015 (with a few holdouts from 2014).
Photo Albums, Portfolios, and Photographically Illustrated Books
F. Jay Haynes Yellowstone National Park and Columbia River Photograph Album, ca. 1880s. (C1485)
The album consists of forty-eight albumen prints primarily of various sites in Yellowstone National Park taken by F. Jay Haynes, the park’s first “official” photographer. Included in the album are some of the earliest winter photographs of Yellowstone, which Haynes took during a daring expedition in 1887. A few of the photographs include people, such as the one shown here, “Our Sketch Artist,” which depicts a heavily bundled Henry Bosse, a photographer and artist who accompanied Haynes on the expedition. The album also includes a series of photographic scenes along the Columbia River in Oregon. The last photograph in the album, presumably relating to Haynes’ position as Northern Pacific Railway’s official photographer, captures a train crossing the Bismarck Bridge over the Missouri River.
William Henry Jackson Photograph Album of Colorado and New Mexico, ca. 1880s. (C1488)
This photograph album includes 115 images, primarily of Colorado, though some images are from New Mexico. The photographs capture various frontier towns, railroads, and natural landscapes. Most, if not all, of the prints in the album include the label “W. H. Jackson Photo., Denver, Colo” and also display the titles and numbers from the negatives. The album’s spine reads “Souvenirs of Colorado.”
Edgar Cherry & Co., Redwood and Lumbering in California Forests. San Francisco: Edgar Cherry & Co., 1884. (2015-0138Q, View Online)
As noted in the introduction, this illustrated essay on redwood lumbering provided “visitors” the ability “for imparting to others what methods are employed in the felling, logging, and transporting of these monster trees to sawmills, as well as the equally giant proportions of the machinery used in reducing them into building material.” The publication highlights the emerging use of photography in book illustration, and the introduction clearly notes the choice of medium: “The object desired to be attained in presenting views by the photographic process is, to set aside all doubt as to the enormous growth of the Redwood, the number of feet per acre, and the superior qualifications that recommend it to builders and others. Inasmuch as engravers are usually cut from sketches, drawn perhaps by enthused artists, perfect satisfaction is not given; but with photographic views, which cannot lie, argument as to truthfulness is unnecessary.” No two copies of the publication were issued with identical sets of prints, which “were mounted separately upon heavy cardboard, and liable to be appropriated by ‘admiring friends.'” The Princeton copy has twenty-four mounted albumen prints, as well as manuscript annotations and two loose notes identifying various people and places in the photographs.
D. C. Herrin “Columbia River Scenery” Photographs, ca. 1892-1897. (C1512)
This collection consists of thirteen albumen card photographs by Oregon photographer David C. Herrin (1863-1909?). The series of photo-graphs, titled “Columbia River Scenery,” were taken via The Dalles, Portland, & Astoria Navigation Company (DP&AN Co.) steamers and the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company (OR&N Co.) line. The photographs vividly document the opening of the Cascade Locks in 1896, as well as the general progress of commercial development along the Columbia River at the end of the nineteenth century.
Frederick Monsen Portfolio of Ethnographic Indian Photographs, ca. 1910. (C1539)
A portfolio of twenty-five sepia-toned silver prints by Norwegian-born photographer, essayist, and lecturer Frederick Monsen (1865-1929). Prints are of various sizes (approximately 16″ x 20″), each signed by the photographer. Monsen, who immigrated with his parents to Utah Territory in 1868, worked throughout the Southwest, documenting the vanishing culture of the Indians. He lectured widely on the subject and authored works such as “The Destruction of Our Indians: What Civilization is Doing to Extinguish an Ancient and Highly Intelligent Race by Taking Away its Arts, Industries, and Religion” (The Craftsman, Vol. XI, no. 6, 1907) and With a Kodak in the Land of the Navajo (Eastman Kodak Company, 1909).
Allen & Smith Company Account Book, 1860-1871. (Q-000021)
A 360-page ledger documenting the daily accounts of the mining and mercantile firm of Allen & Smith Co. in Nevada City, California, one of the original gold rush towns settled in 1849. The company started as mining firm in 1860, but, like several other successful ventures, the proprietors soon opened a general store after recognizing the profit to be made in selling goods and mining equipment to those seeking to make their fortune. Along with a detailed account of daily transactions (dates, prices, vendors, cash balance, etc.), the ledger also includes non-business related topics, such as various recipes and cures (“To Build a Shed,” “To Cure Warts on Cows”), as well as entries on the rights of women and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Diary of an Officer on John M. Macomb’s Expedition in Utah, 1859. (C0938 no. 679, View Online)
An unsigned manuscript diary attributed to Lieutenant Milton Cogswell (1825-1882), who led the military escort that accompanied John N. Macomb’s exploring expedition of 1859. As part of the government’s search for a military route into Utah (a consequence of the Utah War), the expedition followed sections of the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fé, New Mexico, into the canyons of southeastern Utah in search of the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Cogswell’s diary offers a fascinating first-hand account of the expedition’s encounters with Native Americans, voices concerns regarding the Mormons, and provides descriptions of landscape and canyons encountered throughout the journey.
New Mexico Civil War Journal, 1862. (C0938 no. 665, View Online)
A manuscript journal kept during the Civil War by “Simon,” a New York Times correspondent in New Mexico. The 124 page journal covers the period from September 25 to December 28, 1862, and records local military affairs, addresses issues regarding the trials of Confederate prisoners from Texas, and notes relations with hostile Apaches and other Indians.
Chester H. King Diaries, 1875-1883. (C1510, View Online)
This collection consists of three diaries, two of which chronicle Chester King’s overland journey to the southwestern frontier from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail. They include observations about various towns and important landmarks, such as Starvation Rock and the Great Salt Lake, as well as commentary on various groups met along the way, including Native Americans, Scots-Irish immigrants, Mexicans, and Mormons, and the clashes between them. The diaries also include self-described “field notes,” sketches, and illustrations.
Books and Printed Works
Harlequin Cherokee, or, The Indian Chiefs in London. London: Publish’d as the Act directs … by Robt. Sayer, map & printseller, no. 53, in Fleet Street, 1772. (N-001845)
Number twelve in a series of children’s harlequinades published by English bookseller and printer Robert Sayer, who devised the format in the mid-1760s. Harlequinades, or turn-up books, are arranged as series of four illustrated panels with movable flaps which, when “turned-up,” transform the scene and continue the narrative. The stories, inspired by pantomimes, make frequent use of Harlequin as the main character. The Harlequin Cherokee, or Indian Chiefs in London, published in 1772, highlights the British public’s fascination with three Cherokee chiefs that arrived in London in 1762. Although the chiefs were not invited by the British government, they successfully gained an audience with King George III, and their visit enthralled Londoners. In 1762 the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane produced The Witches, or Harlequin Cherokee (online playbill).
J. Goldsborough Bruff, Rebus Letter Depicting a Miner’s Life during the California Gold Rush. Washington: August, 1856. (WA Broadside 3, View Online)
A rare and wonderfully bizarre lithographic rebus letter by J. Goldsborough Bruff (1804-1889), adventurer, topographer, architectural draftsman, and “49er” who led a party of sixty-six men in 1849 on an overland journey to California from Washington, D.C. Rebus letters present visual puns through the substitution of symbols or pictograms for conventionally spelled words, as seen in the opening address of this letter which uses an image of a deer and man for “My dear sir.” Kurutz, in his California Gold Rush (1997), describes Bruff’s journey to California “with the intention of writing an overland guidebook.” Bruff’s memoirs were never published during his lifetime, and the letter (Rebus symbols and all) provides some insight into the reasoning: “Manuscript and (papers) R in N. York; the publishers (will) (knot) publish it unless a (sale) is guaranT’d – So for the want of a few hundred names it has been kept (back).”
Life Among the Miners, No. 2. San Francisco: Hutchings & Rosenfeld, [ca. 1858]. (WA Broadside 2, View Online)
A California pictorial letter sheet published by James Mason Hutchings, editor and publisher of Hutchings’ Illustrated California Magazine. The uncommon double-sheet format of this letter sheet allows for the inclusion of thirteen illustrations with accompanying verse describing a Gold Rush miner’s daily life. Like modern-day postcards, pictorial letter sheets provided visual stationary for correspondence with friends and family. On the verso of this sheet is a manuscript letter from E.L. Porter to “Commodore J.B. Porter, Esq.” written on September 3, 1859, from Devil’s Hill mining camp. Poter’s correspondence highlights the usefulness of pictorial stationary:
Last maile [sic] I sent to Major General Captain Esquire Franklin Porter and sent or wrote on a sheet that told all about the way the Californians mined out the Chunks. Now as you survy [sic] how that is done I send the discription [sic] of the gold mining opporations [sic] so you can have an idea of how we live and how we fare.
Edgar Williams & Co., Historical Atlas Map of Marion & Linn Counties Oregon. Compiled, Drawn, and Published from Personal Examinations and Actual Surveys. San Francisco: Edgar Williams & Co., 1878. (2014-0018E)
The earliest published Oregon county atlas, Williams’ Historical Atlas Map of Marion & Linn Counties (1878) includes nineteen double-page maps (including a state-wide map of Oregon) and fifty-nine additional illustrations depicting town views, notable households, farms, and various industries, such as flour and saw mills, as well as the state capitol building in Salem. Along with the illustrations, the text provides a detailed history of Marion and Linn counties and biographical sketches of several of the counties’ leading citizens.
Gustaf Nordenskiöld, Ruiner af Klippboningar i Mesa Verde’s Canons [The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde]. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Soners Forlag, 1893. (2014-0242Q)
The Swedish edition of The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde by Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1868-1895). Published in 1893, the work represents the earliest scholarly monograph on Mesa Verde and documents the archaeological sites as well as the controversial excavations by Nordenskiöld that would eventually lead to the founding of Mesa Verde National Park in 1906. With its seventeen full-page plates (such as the double-page photogravure of “The Cliff Palaces” shown here), approximately 160 additional illustrations, and detailed textual account, Nordenskiöld’s publication brought international recognition to the ruins and represents an important historical record of late nineteenth-century archaeological practices.