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
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
160 Pages | 11 x 11 | 125 color illus., 1 map
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.
"Frank H. Goodyear III has done historians and the public at large an enormous favor by producing A President in Yellowstone, which reveals the long-unavailable photographs by Frank Jay Haynes of his 1883 trip through Yellowstone with President Chester A. Arthur. In addition, Goodyear places the trip in fascinating context, adding many details to existing accounts. This book is an important contribution to western Americana.”— Lee H. Whittlesey, Historian, National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources
"A commemorative travel album here becomes the focus of a fascinating and wide-ranging argument about presidential politics and the invention of Yellowstone National Park. As Frank Goodyear unpacks the photographs that document President Chester A. Arthur’s western trip of 1883, he explores the relationship between the chief executive and the press, and the tensions between conservationists and developers. His characters include captains of industry and defeated Indian leaders, eastern tourists and ambitious government bureaucrats, who together helped shape the emergence of the modern West. This is a lovely piece of microhistory, a small focused story that speaks to much larger political and cultural concerns.”—Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of History, Princeton University, and author of Print the Legend: Photography and the American West