Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Pacific Railroad: An Important Original Imperial Sized Albumen Photo. During the spring and summer of 1868 a major dispute arose between Dr. Thomas Durant and General Dodge over the engineering of the Union Pacific Railroad. Each had his adherents, and the argument threatened to disrupt the progress of the railroad. Accordingly, General Grant was called in as a mediator. Although not yet elected president, his election was considered a foregone conclusion, and his input was construed as representative of the attitude taken by the government in Washington. Grant made it clear in the meeting that General Dodge was expected to be the chief engineer on the project.

    This remarkable photo depicts the principles of the meeting, including Durant, Dodge, Grant, and General Phil Sheridan. Also pictured are officers of Fort Sanders, family members etc. One of those pictured is a Captain Male, who was stationed at the Fort. Clearly this photo was his personal copy. Standing behind Grant to his right is in his son, identified as "Master Grant." The names of each person pictured have been written neatly on the mount below by Captain Male. He had also written at the top "Fort Sanders" Dakotah [sic] / Hd. Qtrs. 36th inf. USA." On the back of the mount Male has signed his name, along with an illegible pencil notation.

    The photo itself, measuring 11.75" x 8.625", is in excellent condition, the only trivial flaw being a barely noticeable, very minor light line of surface soiling extending from the mat into the field in the upper left-hand corner, which looks as if it would be easily cleaned off. The mount, measuring 16.5" x 13", is in very good shape, with slight even, overall age browning. The eight notations in the top and bottom margins are very bold and sharp.

    An important photograph for Western and Railroad collectors, as well as for specialists in American historical photography.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
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