Kansas State Historical Society.

The Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) online

. (page 4 of 76)
Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) → online text (page 4 of 76)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Major and Knapp; (2) the plate numbers and page insertions of the plates are different,
in general, in the two printings; (3) "Crossing the Hell Gate River Jan. 6, 1854," is
credited to Stanley in the 1859 printing; to Sohon (as it should be) in the 1860 printing;
(4) "Main Chain of the Rocky Mountains as Seen From the East . . .," is credited
to Stanley in the 1859 printing; to "Stanley after Sohon" in the 1860 printing; (5) "Source
of the Palouse," is uncredited in the 1859 printing; "Source of the Pelluse," is credited to
"Stanley after Sohon" in the 1860 printing; (6) "Big Blackfoot Valley/' is credited to
Stanley in the 1859 printing; to Sohon in the 1860 printing.

As is to be expected since the plates for the Stevens' report were lithographed by two
firms, the same title will show illustrations differing more or less in detail. In the copies
I have seen the coloring is superior in the Sarony, Major, and Knapp printings but even
lithographs from the same house will differ in brilliance of color depending upon how much
the stones were used and inked.


Vancouver, Stanley was dispatched to Washington with the pre-
liminary Stevens reports of the survey. The return trip was made
by ship down the coast to the Isthmus, across the Isthmus, and then
on the Star of the West to New York City, where Stanley arrived
on January 9, 1854. He then went on to Washington. 42

Stanley's return to Washington marked the end of his Western
adventures. The remainder of his life was spent as a studio artist
in Washington, Buffalo, and lastly in Detroit, where he died in
1872. 43

One additional episode in Stanley's life, however, should be de-
scribed, because previous biographers of Stanley have overlooked
it and because it is important in the story of Western illustration.
It was over a year after Stanley^ return to Washington in January,
1854, before work was begun preparing the field sketches as illustra-
tions for Stevens' final report. 44

Stanley did use his field sketches almost immediately for the
preparation of a huge panorama of Western scenes for public exhi-
bition. By summer the panorama was well under way and Stanley's
studio was "Daily the resort of our most distinguished citizens who
express the greatest admiration of this grand panoramic work." 45
The work, consisting of 42 episodes, went on display in Washington
on September 1. Two hours were required to view it. A 23-page
handbook, Scenes and Incidents of Stanley's Western Wilds, describ-
ing the panorama, which was primarily a depiction of the northern
survey route, could be purchased at the door of the National The-
atre for ten cents after the admission fee of 25 cents had been paid.
The Washington papers were generous and fulsome in their praise
of these Stanley pictures. In addition to display in Washington

42. Stanley's arrival in New York is given in the New York Tribune, January 9, 1854,
p. 5, where an "M. Stanley" is listed among the passengers of the Star of the West and
in the next column under "Oregon" it specifically stated that J. M. Stanley, the artist of
Stevens' survey, arrived on the "Star of the West." Stanley was back in Washington by
January 19, 1854, as Stanley's report of his visit to the Piegans is dated "Washington City,
January 19, 1854" (see Footnote 38).

43. For the remainder of Stanley's life see Kinietz, op. cit., and obituaries in the
Detroit Free Press, April 11, 1872, p. 1, and the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, April 10,
1872, p. 4.

44. The National Archives (Washington) in their file of material on the Pacific rail-
road surveys has a letter by Stanley, dated April 3, 1855, to Lt. J. K. Warren who with
Capt. A. A. Humphreys was in charge of the preparation of the reports for publication
by the War Department, stating that it would take Stanley 5% months to complete the
necessary illustrations, a list of 57 proposed illustrations on the list are those which finally
appeared in the report. Apparently Stanley had a few illustrations ready at the time the
letter was written for he so stated. Stevens in a letter to Capt. A. A. Humphreys of the
War Department dated September 26, 1854 (also in the National Archives), directed that
Stanley be paid $125 a month for his work of preparation, "a small compensation however in
view of his ability and experience." Apparently, too, this rate of pay was Stanley's compensa-
tion while on the actual survey. See Hazard Stevens, op. cit., v. 1, p. 306. This sum was
probably the standard rate of pay for Charles Koppel also received $125 a month while on
Lieutenant Williamson's survey. See 33 Cong., 1 Sess., Sen. Ex. Doc. 29 (serial No 695)
p. 113.

45. Daily Evening Star, Washington, August 9, 1854, p. 3.


and Georgetown, it was exhibited in Baltimore for three weeks, and
finally it was reported in the Washington press to be on the way to
Boston and to London for exhibition. 46

Like most of Stanley's original work it has disappeared. It would
be priceless at the present day.

The last of the Pacific railroad survey artists we can mention but
briefly. He was Gustav Sohon, one of the enlisted men who brought
supplies from the Pacific coast to the Indian village of St. Marys,
west of the Rockies, for the Stevens party proper in the summer of
1853. Later he accompanied Lt. John Mullan, who under Stevens'
orders surveyed the mountains on the northern route for possible
passes in the winter of 1853-1854, and from this time until 1862 he
was frequently associated with Mullan in the Northwest. Some ten
or a dozen of his sketches are included in the final Stevens report,
but by far the most interesting of Sohon's work now available was
reproduced in a report by Mullan published in 1863. Included
among these illustrations were "Walla-Walla, W. T. in 1862," "Fort
Benton" (not dated but probably 1860-1862), the most satisfying
illustration I have seen of this famous frontier post and head of
steamboat navigation on the Missouri ( reproduced between pp. 16,
17); "Coeur D'Alene Mission in the Rocky Mountains," a different
view than Stanley's illustration of 1853, and "Mode of Crossing
Rivers by the Flathead and Other Indians," showing the use of hide
"bull-boats" ( reproduced between pp. 16, 17 ). A number of Sohon's
original Indian sketches are now in the United States National Mu-
seum. They are stated to be "the most extensive and authoritative
pictorial series on the Indian of the Northwest Plateau in pre-reser-
vation days." 47

The only other government report for this period that can ap-
proach the Pacific railway Reports from the standpoint of Western
illustration is the Emory account of the United States-Mexico bound-
ary survey, and to conclude this chapter of our story, brief comment

46. Many comments and advertisements on Stanley's Western Wilds appeared in the
Washington Star from August 9, 1854, to January 18, ]855. A copy of the handbook of
Stanley's Western Wilds is in the collections of the Library of Congress. According to the
Washington Star of December 14, 1854, p. 3, it was written by Thomas S. Donaho.

47. For Sohon (1825-1903) see John C. Ewers "Gustavus Sohon's Portraits of Flat-
head and Pend D'Oreille Indians, 1854." Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v. 110
(1948), November, 68pp. The above quotation is from this source. For Mullan's report
see Capt. John Mullan, Report on the Construction of a Military Road From Fort Walla-
Walla to Fort Benton (Washington, 1863). The excellent lithography in the Mullan book-
was by Bowen and Co. For comment on the Sohon illustrations in the Stevens report, see
Footnote 41. No trace of the original Stanley and Sohon sketches for the Stevens report
has been found. They are not in the National Archives although a letter in the Archives
from Stevens to Capt. A. A. Humphreys, dated March 11, 1858, requested that all of the
sketches of Stanley and Lieutenant Mullan (presumably those of Sohon) to be used in
the report be sent to Stevens. Humphreys has a notation dated March 12, 1858, on the
Stevens letter stating that the sketches requested had been sent Stevens. What happened
to them subsequently I have been unable to determine.


on the illustrations will be made. The survey began initially in the
spring of 1849 and as a result of a series of obstacles was not com-
pleted until the fall of 1855.

The report, in three volumes, was published in 1857-1859. The
first volume includes the general account and details of the survey
and the last two volumes deal with the botany and zoology of the
region transversed. These two volumes are illustrated with many
wonderful plates including a number of hand-colored plates of

Part one of the first volume includes the illustrations of most gen-
eral interest and here will be found 76 steel engravings, 12 litho-
graphs (a number colored) and 20 woodcuts. These elaborate illus-
trations are primarily the work of two artists who accompanied the
survey, Arthur Schott and John E. Weyss (or Weiss).

The survey in its final stages worked in two parties, one traveling
west and the second, starting from Fort Yuma (Arizona), traveling
east. Weyss accompanied the first party, which was under the im-
mediate command of Emory; Schott, under Lt. Nathaniel Michler,
was with the second. 48

Among the most interesting of the illustrations in this volume are
"Military Plaza San Antonio, Texas/' by Schott (reproduced be-
tween pp. 16, 17), "Brownsville, Texas," by Weyss (reproduced
between pp. 16, 17), and "The Plaza and Church of El Paso," by A.
de Vaudricourt who was with the survey in 1851.

Schott was a resident of Washington for many years after his
return from the survey. He was an ardent naturalist and his name
appears frequently in the reports of the Smithsonian Institution in
the 1860's and 1870's. His death occurred in 1875 at the age of 62. 49

48. The official title of the report is United States and Mexican Boundary Survey
Report of William H. Emory, 34 Cong., 1 Sess., House Ex. Doc. 135 (Washington, 1857),
vols. J and 2 (in two pts.). Mention of Weyss (sometimes spelled Weiss in the report)
and of Schott as members of the survey and of their responsibility as illustrators is made on
pp. 15, 24, 96 and 124 of v. 1. The engravings were by the Smillies (see Footnote 53) and
W. H. Dougal; the lithography by Sarony, Major and Knapp. The list of illustrations on
pp. X and XI calls for 74 steel engravings but in the copy I examined there were two
number 32's and 33's of different titles (two not included in the list) making a total of
76 engravings.

W. H. Dougal (1822-1894?), the engraver of some of the plates in the Emory report,
should be included in our list of Western artists, for he visited California himself in 1849
and 1850 and made a number of sketches which have been reproduced with a brief
biographical account of Dougal's life in Off for California (letters, log and sketches of
William H. Dougal), edited by Frank M. Stanger (Biobooks, Oakland, Cal., 1949).

49. For mention of Schott, see Annual Report of Smithsonian Institution for 1866,
p. 27; for 1867, p. 48; for 1871, p. 423; for 1873, p. 390; for 1877, p. 44; see, also, 39
Cong., 2 Sess., Senate Misc. Doc. No. 21, v. 1, January 16, 1867, pp. 7-1 J. Schott appears
in Washington city directories from 1858 until his death in 1875. He must have been
a remarkable man for he is listed at various times as a naturalist, engineer, physician and
referred to as a well-known professor of German and music. His death, at the age of
62, occurred in Washington (Georgetown), D. C., on July 26, 1875. See National Republi-
can, Washington, July 28, 1875, p. 2, and Georgetown Courier, July 31, 1875, p. 3.
S. W. Geiser, Naturalists of the Frontier (Dallas, 1948), p. 281, gives a very brief sketch
of Schott.


Weyss later became Major Weyss during the Civil War, serving
as a member of the staff of engineers of the Army of the Potomac.
After the war he again turned to employment in Western surveys
and according to Wheeler was "for many years connected with
Western explorations and surveys under the War Department."
Several plates in the report prepared by Wheeler were based on
sketches by Weyss. He died in Washington, D. C., on June 24,
1903, at the age of 83. 50

There is little biographic data available on A. de Vaudricourt.
The San Antonio Ledger, October 10, 1850, described him as an
"accomplished and gentlemanly draughtsman and interpreter who
has made a number of beautiful sketches of the most striking parts
of our country. . . ." He was connected with the survey for
less than a year and he then disappears from view. 51

Actually there were at least two other artists on these Mexican
boundary surveys, John R. Bartlett and H. C. Pratt. Some of their
work is reproduced in Bartlett's account of the survey. Bartlett,
who was U. S. commissioner for the survey for several years, was
an amateur artist, but Pratt, who accompanied him, was a profes-
sional and is reported to have made "hundreds" of sketches and
some oil portraits of Indians. Bartlett, however, in his report, em-
ployed his own sketches very nearly to the exclusion of those of Pratt.
As a probable result, the illustrations ( 15 lithographs and 94 wood-
cuts ) , with two exceptions, are of no great interest. The excep-
tions are a double-page lithograph of Fort Yuma, Ariz, (by Pratt),
and of Tucson, Ariz., and surrounding desert by Bartlett. 52

50. See The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1891), Series I, v. 36, pt. 1, p. 294, for Weiss
(note change of spelling) in the Civil War where it is stated that Weyss was commissioned
by "the governor of the State of Kentucky."

The comment by Wheeler will be found in George M. Wheeler, Report Upon United
States Geographic Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian (Washington, 1889),
v. 1, p. 52. I am indebted to Meredith B. Colket, Jr., of the Columbia Historical Society,
Washington, for locating the death date of Weyss which he found in certificate No. 149,509,
bureau of vital statistics, District of Columbia health department. A death notice of Weyss
will be found in The Evening Star, Washington, June 24, 1903, p. 5.

51. The quotation concerning Vaudricourt is reprinted in the National lintelligencer
for November 2, 1850, p. 3. Ibid., September 24, 1850, p. 4, reported that Vaudricouit
was head of the topographic party of the survey that was to work from Indianola (Texas)
to El Paso, and the same newspaper July 22, 1851, p. 1, reported that Vaudricourt had
severed his connection with the survey. Bartlett (see Footnote 52) v. 2, p. 541, also made
mention of Vaudricourt and stated that Vaudricourt left the survey soon after they reached
El Paso. Harry C. Peters, America on Stone (Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1931),
p. 392, lists an A. de Vaudricourt who made a lithographic illustration for Bouve and Sharp
of Boston in 1844-1845, but gives no further information concerning him.

52. For Bartlett (1805-1886), see Dictionary of American Biography, v. 2, pp. 7, 8,
and his report, Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico,
California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Connected With the United States and Mexico Bound-
ary Commission During the Years 1850, '51, '52, '53 (New York, 1854), two volumes.
Bartlett, Emory and others become involved in a serious contretemps and their differences
required many written words of discussion, explanation and recrimination. Bartlett, in his
own report, makes mention of his own and Pratt's sketches in v. 1, p. 357, and v. 2, pp. 541,
545 and 596. Pratt (1803-1880) is listed by D. T. Mallett, Mallett's Index of Artists
(New York, 1935), p. 352, as a landscape painter. Contemporary mention of Pratt's
Indian portraits made on the survey will be found in the San Diego Herald, February 14,
1852 (reprinted in the National Intelligencer, March 20, 1852, p. 3).


The two views here reproduced from the Emory report ( those of
Brownsville and San Antonio, Tex.) are copies of steel engravings
by the celebrated American engravers, James Smillie and James D.
Smillie. 53

The Brownsville engraving is based on a sketch by John E. Weyss
and, I believe, can be safely dated 1853. Weyss joined the survey
in that year and was a member of the party which passed Browns-
ville. 54

Arthur Schott's interesting and well-known view of the "Military
Plaza, San Antonio" is more difficult to date. Schott was probably
in southern Texas as early as the fall of 1851 and he seems to have
passed through San Antonio as late as the fall of 1855, and may have
been there at times between those two dates. In the absence of
conclusive evidence, it seems best for the present to date the view

1853 with an uncertainty of plus or minus two years. 55

53. For the Smillies (father and son), see Dictionary of American Biography, v. 17,
pp. 232, 233.

54. Emory's Report, v. 1, pp. 15, 58, 60, 6J.

55. When Emory was appointed to the survey in September, 1851, he almost imme-
diately left Washington for Texas. He reported (ibid., p. 10), ". . . after a dreary
march across the prairies and uplands of Texas, [I] reached El Paso in November [1851],
and resumed my duties in the field on the 25th of that month." According to Bartlett,
Personal Narrative, v. 2, p. 596, Arthur Schott accompanied Emory at this time. Whether
San Antonio was visited on the way to El Paso is uncertain. Emory and his party met
Bartlett at Ringgold Barracks in December, 1852. Emory and his group then returned east
through Texas by wagon train. Ibid., pp. 513, 532. When the survey was reorganized in
the spring of 1853, Schott was in the field with the survey in southern Texas by April,
1853. Emory's Report, v. 1, pp. 15, 16. Apparently he was in Texas before the opening
of the survey's work in the spring, as there is a record of botanical collections made by
Schott at Indianola, Tex., in January and February, 1853, as there is also for the years

1854 and 1855. W. R. Taylor, "Tropical Marine Algae of the Arthur Schott Herbarium,"
Field Museum of Natural History, Publication 509, Chicago, 1941, pp. 87-89; Botanical
Series, v. 20, No. 4. In none of those years is the evidence clear cut that Schott was
actually at San Antonio, something over 100 miles northwest of Indianola. In the fall of
1854 Schott was assigned to Lt. N. Michler's command which commenced the survey east-
ward from San Diego on November 16, 1854. Emory's Report, v. 1, pp. 24, 101. Michler's
party on their return passed through San Antonio from the west in November of the fol-
lowing year. Ibid., pp. 124, 125.

The only other attempt to date the original sketch on which Schott's view of San
Antonio is based, as far as I know, is that given by I. N. P. Stokes and D. C. Haskell,
American Historical Prints (New York, 1933), p. 112. Stokes and Haskell assign it the
date "1852-53" but the evidence for the assignment of the date is not given. Correspondence
either directly or indirectly with the Texas Historical Association, the Barker Texas History
Center, the San Antonio Public Library, and others, has not given positive evidence for a
specific date. I am indebted to Llerena Friend of the Barker Texas History Center, and
E. W. Robinson and Col. M. L. Crimmins of San Antonio who considered the matter for me.

The Annual Meeting

THE 76th annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society
and board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on
October 16, 1951.

The meeting of the directors was called to order by President
Frank Haucke at 10 A. M. First business was the reading of the
annual report by the secretary.


At the conclusion of last year's meeting, the newly elected president, Frank
Haucke, reappointed John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard to the executive com-
mittee. The members holding over were Robert C. Rankin, Milton R. McLean
and Wilford Riegle. After the death of General McLean, April 17, 1951, Mr.
Haucke appointed Charles M. Correll for the unexpired term.


The 1951 legislature granted a number of increases for the biennium that
began July 1. They include: salary for an additional cataloguer in the library;
an increase of $1,000 a year in the contingent fund; $2,000 for repairing and
restoring oil paintings; $1,500 for modern light fixtures in the reading rooms;
an increase of $1,000 a year in the Memorial building contingent fund; $4,000
for painting; $6,000 for repairing the heating system; $2,200 for miscellaneous
repairs; and salary for an additional janitor. Our request for $6,000 a year
to continue the Annals of Kansas was disallowed in the budget and it re-
quired a good deal of lobbying on the part of friends of the Society to restore
the appropriation. The microfilming fund, at our request, was reduced $2,000
a year. The appropriation for printing was reduced $4,845 for the biennium.
Although the senate voted unanimously to give the Society an increase in this
fund, the bill was killed by the house committee.

At the Old Shawnee Mission, the contingent fund was increased $1,000 a
year; and at the First Capitol of Kansas there was an increase of $100 a year.


The sum of $23,500 was appropriated for the purchase of the "Old Kaw
Mission" building at Council Grove, and $2,500 a year for maintenance and
the salary of a caretaker. The secretary of the Historical Society was named
custodian of the property.

The bill which authorized this purchase was sponsored by Sen. W. H.
White of Council Grove and Rep. L. J. Blythe of White City. Upon informa-
tion supplied by the Historical Society, the introduction to the bill read as

WHEREAS, the town of Council Grove was the most important point on the
Santa Fe trail between the Missouri river and Santa Fe, New Mexico, taking
its name from the agreement made there in 1825 between the federal govern-
ment and the Osage Indians; and

WHEREAS, Council Grove is notable historically as a camping place for
Fremont's expedition of 1845 and for Doniphan's troops bound for the Mexican



war in 1846 and as supply headquarters for the Overland Mail beginning in
1849; and

WHEREAS, The area centered at Council Grove became a reservation for
the Kansas Indians in 1846; and

WHEREAS, In 1850, the Methodist church established a manual training
school for the Kansas Indians at Council Grove in a building erected by the
federal government; and . . .

WHEREAS, Said building and the grounds on which it is situated would pro-
vide, if acquired by the state, an outstanding and beautiful monument to
commemorate the history of the Santa Fe trail and the Indians for whom the
state of Kansas was named; and

WHEREAS, The present owner of said "Old Indian Mission" and the site on
which it is located is willing to sell the same to the state of Kansas for his-
torical purposes at a reasonable price: Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas., etc.

The money for the purchase of the building became available July 1. A
caretaker had been employed and had just moved into the building when the
July floods came. The first floor, the installations in the basement, and the
grounds were badly damaged. On July 25, a formal request was presented
to the governor for assistance from the emergency fund. The amount
needed, as estimated by a responsible local contractor, was $2,155. This
request was passed over without recommendation by the committee in
charge of the fund. A renewal of the request was made September 28. Since
the Society is without funds, it is hoped that some action will be taken to
make these repairs possible.


During the year, 3,044 persons did research in the library. Of these, 935
worked on Kansas subjects, 1,219 on genealogy and 890 on general subjects.
Many inquiries were answered by letter, and 219 packages on Kansas sub-
jects were sent out from the loan file. A total of 5,184 newspaper clippings
were mounted, covering the period from July 1, 1950, through June 30, 1951.
These were taken from seven daily newspapers which are read for clipping,
and from 700 duplicate papers turned over by the newspaper department.
Two thousand, six hundred ninety-five pages of clippings from old volumes
were remounted and are ready to be rebound. Thirty-two pieces of sheet
music have been added to the collection of Kansas music, The Kansas Call by

Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) → online text (page 4 of 76)