In the Yellowstone: "Such fishing I have never had before"

A Trip to the Yellowstone National Park in July, August and September, 1875. From the Journal of General W. E. Strong.

Washington: 1876.

Price: $22,500.00

About the item

First edition. 2 folding maps, 7 line drawings, and 7 tipped-in albumen photograph portraits with fine manuscript captions. 143 pp. 1 vols. 4to. In the Yellowstone: "Such fishing I have never had before" Original three quarter red morocco, titled in gilt on upper cover "The/ Yellowstone/ and/ The Great Geysers/Strong/1875." Ownership signature of Rhoby McM Gillespie, Chicago (wife of the photographer), on title. Spine neatly rebacked. Streeter 4101; Graff 4014; Phillips, American Sporting Books, p. 364; Litchfield p. 50; Heller 634; Howes S1083 "b"; Taylor, traveling thru Wonderland, pp. 48-49.

Item #310359

One of the earliest descriptions of Yellowstone, being the account of a hunting expedition to the north-western territories undertaken by the author and six officers (plus a contingent of enlisted men) including US Secretary of War Gen. Wm. W. Belknap and US Inspector General R. B. Marcy (who fell ill and nearly perished on the trip), as well as Gen. James W. Forsyth, Lt. G. C. Doane, Gen N. B. Sweitzer, and Col. George L. Gillespie, whose photographic portraits illustrate the book. The party traveled some 5,000 miles (by rail, stage, steamer, and horseback) in 53 days, seeking elk, deer, buffalo and other game as well as wild fowl; due to the season of the year game was not as plentiful as hoped, but the abundance of trout exceeded all expectations, and almost 500 large ones were caught (see pp. 54-57). Another impediment to hunting were the "hostile Sioux [who] were constantly lurking around in great numbers;" it was perhaps prophetic that on September 3, 1875, they met and were entertained by General George Armstrong Custer of the 7th Cavalry at Fort Lincoln just nine months before the Battle of Little Big Horn. As befitting "one of the most famous sportsmen in the country" Custer and his wife and sister lived in great state on the post, surrounded by the General's hunting trophies, of which there were many. Circumstances prevented Strong from retaining the head or hide of the huge leader of a buffalo herd, which he shot, but the event is described in lively detail. Also noteworthy are the author's splendid descriptions of Yellowstone and the surrounding territory. Many accounts of Yellowstone and the Northwest were to follow, but this one, in its depiction of the country, the sport, and the individuals who participated in this early adventure, is a gem, and equally rare.