Presentation Copy, Inscribed by the Author to Lieutenant General Philip H. SheridanF[erdinand] V[andiveer] Hayden. [Andrew J. Russell, photographer]. Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery, with a Description of the Geographical and Geological Features, and Some Account of the Resources of the Great West; Containing Thirty Photographic Views along the Line of the Pacific Rail Road, from Omaha to Sacramento. New York: Julius Bien, 1870. First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to Lieutenant General Philip H. Sheridan on the front flyleaf: "To Lt. General P. H. Sheridan / With the kind regard / of the Author. / New York City / May 16 1871." Quarto. viii, 150 pages. Title-page printed in red and black. Illustrated with thirty albumen photographs by Andrew J. Russell on card mounts with printed captions. The photographs measure approximately 6.75 x 9 inches. Later green half morocco preserving portions of the publisher's black morocco spine. All edges gilt. Later marbled endpapers. From the Jay T. Snider Collection of Historical Americana (Christies, 21 June 2005, Lot 318), with his library label on the front pastedown. Some damp to the lower edges of the preliminary pages; occasional scattered soiling; modest shelfwear to boards. Otherwise a very good copy of this key piece of photographic western Americana as well as landscape photography, made more important with its association with General Philip H. Sheridan.
Reference: Flake-Draper 3920 ("Description of Utah with a brief mention of Mormonism, p. 123-32"); Howes H337; Margolis, To Delight the Eye, 7; Sabin 31007; Truthful Lens 81.
Hayden writes on page vii: "The construction of the Pacific Railroad led to the production of a large number of fine photographic views, taken by Mr. A. J. Russell, of New York, who spent more than two years along the line of the road in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Thirty views have been chosen, and the preference has been given, in most cases, to those which illustrate some peculiar feature in the geology or geography of that interesting country. The pictures have been arranged so as to commence with the first range of mountains west of Cheyenne, and to continue thence to the Salt Lake Valley, with the view, that the book may be used as a guide by those who will avail themselves of the grand opportunities for geological study, which a trip across the continent affords to every intelligent mind."
Andrew Joseph Russell (1829-1902) had been commissioned by the Union Pacific Railroad to photographically document the construction of the route from Omaha to Sacramento. Reduced from the original, much larger glass plate negatives, twelve of these photographs show scenes in Wyoming, sixteen in Utah, and two in the Sierra Nevada. The photographs appeared in the larger format the previous year in Russell's extremely rare album, The Great West Illustrated (1869).
"In using Russell's photographs as illustrations in Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery, geologist Hayden took the long view of history, emphasizing the value of pictures as documents of geological change while professing indifference to the more recent past. For Hayden, the geologic features of the West were like an open book, affording the educated reader the opportunity to understand millions of years of geologic history. But human history was of less concern. In writing about the towns that had sprung up along the railroad tracks, he noted that 'it is not the purpose of this volume to chronicle the scenes of murder and pillage, which form a part of the early history of all these railroad towns'" (Martha A. Sandweiss, Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), pages 177-178).
After the Civil War, Sheridan (1831-1888) was under orders to suppress American Indians in the West. For sixteen years, beginning in 1867, "Sheridan presided over the relentless hounding of the Plains Indian tribes, first leading a campaign against the Oklahoma Cheyenne that ended in the winter of 1868 with a massacre by a force under George Custer of a Cheyenne village on the Washita River. He also directed the 1876 campaign against the Southern Plains Indians that is remembered for the massacre of Custer and his Seventh Cavalry by the Sioux and their allies at Little Big Horn. On hearing a Comanche chief identify himself as a 'good Indian,' Sheridan responded with an instant aphorism for his fellow Indian fighters: 'The only good Indians I ever saw were dead'" (Thomas A. Lewis, in Oxford ANB Online).
The views comprise:
1) Moore's Lake - Head of Bear River, Uintah Mountains, Utah
2) Granite Rock - Buford Station, Laramie Mountains, Wyoming
3) Skull Rock (Granite) - Sherman Station, Laramie Mountains, Wyoming
4) Malloy's Cut - Sherman Station, Laramie Range, Wyoming
5) Dial Rock - Red Buttes, Laramie Plains, Wyoming
6) Laramie Valley - from Sheephead Mountains, Wyoming
7) Snow and Timber Line - Medicine Bow Mountain, Wyoming
8) High Bluffs - Black Buttes, Wyoming
9) Bitter Creek Valley - near Green River, Wyoming
10) Burning Rock Cut - Green River Valley, Wyoming
11) Citadel Rock - Green River Valley, Wyoming
12) Castle Rock - Green River Valley, Wyoming
13) Church Buttes - Near Fort Bridger, Wyoming
14) Lake at the head of Bear River - Uintah Mountains, Utah
15) Conglomerate Peaks - Echo, Utah
16) Sentinel Rock - Echo Canyon, Utah
17) Hanging Rock - Echo City, Utah
18) Coalville - Weber Valley, Utah
19) Thousand Mile Tree - Weber Canyon, Utah
20) Wilhelmina's Pass - distant view of serrated rocks or Devil's Slide, Weber Canyon, Utah
21) Serrated Rocks or Devil's Slide (near view) - Weber Canyon, Utah
22) Tunnel No. 3 - Weber Canyon, Utah
23) Devil's Gate (from below) - Weber Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, Utah
24) City Creek Canyon - Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake Valley
25) Wasatch Range of Rocky Mountains - from Brigham Young's Woolen Mills, Utah
26) Salt Lake City - Camp Douglas and Wasatch Mountains in the Background, Utah
27) Great Mormon Tabernacle - Salt Lake City, Utah
28) Trestle Work - Promontory Point, Salt Lake Valley, Utah
29) Summit of Sierra Nevada - snow sheds in foreground, Donner Lake in the distance, Central Pacific Railroad, California
30) Hydraulic Gold Mining - near Dutch Flat, Central Pacific Railroad California
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