Collectibles

Trains, Mules and Horses

President Arthur's journey to Yellowstone featured in an impressive photograph auction.

President Arthur's journey to Yellowstone featured in an impressive photograph auction.

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Chester A. Arthur is the only U.S. president to make an extensive overland march, mostly on horseback, and the first to visit Yellowstone National Park.

Photographs of his August 1883 trip to Yellowstone were among the impressive lifetime collection of American Indian photographs assembled by Dennis Lessard (1936-1997) and sold in the Western portion of Cowan's Historic Americana auction on December 6, 2007.

When Lessard founded the Del Trading Post, near South Dakota's Rosebud Reservation, the Lakota often brought to him photographs of their ancestors, which he copied for his collection, returning the originals to their generous owners.

Some photos from this trip were collected by "Fighting Paymaster" Thaddeus Stanton (while working as paymaster, Stanton also fought as chief of scouts under Gen. George Crook in Indian War campaigns).

Setting aside about 50 manuscript lots from Ohio book collector Joe Dush (whose copy of the Maxwell Code hammered in as the auction's top lot) and photos from other collections, such as Stanton's, the bulk of the 600-so lots featured Lessard's photograph collection.

The Yellowstone stereoviews by Frank Jay Haynes tell an impressive...

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