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Camp where gold was first discovered, Custer Gulch on the left
Camp where gold was first discovered, Custer Gulch on the left
TitleCamp where gold was first discovered, Custer Gulch on the left
Date of Original1874
DescriptionLooking down on military camp with tents and military personnel, with hills and trees in background.
Ordering InformationConsult:
General SubjectMilitary
Subject (LCTGM)Discovery & exploration
Military personnel
Military camps
Personal NameCuster, George Armstrong, 1839-1876
Organization NameUnited States. Army. Cavalry, 7th.
LocationBlack Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
South Dakota
United States
Item NumberFolio 102 MiG46.3
Format of OriginalLithographs
Dimensions of Original11 x 24 cm.
Publisher of OriginalHarper's Magazine Co.
Place of PublicationNew York (N.Y.)
Transcription"The Black Hills Expedition. No expedition since the war has attracted more attention or excited more interest than the one which left Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota, on the 2nd of July to explore the Black Hills. This region of country, lying in the southwestern part of Dakota, and extending some distance intoy Wyoming, and slightly indenting Montana (as shown in the map printed in a recent number of the Weekly), has, until this summer, in its interior been entirely unexplored by the white man. Previous expeditions have skirted the hills, but never penetrated them, and we have been dependent on the reports and traditions of the Indians for the little we have known of them. The hostility of the Indians has defeated any attempts to explore the country by civilian parties.
The present expedition was entirely a military one, and consisted of ten companies of the Seventh cavalry, two companies of infantry, and three pieces of artillery, in all about 700 soldiers, with the addition of a train of 120 wagons, and about as many teamsters, the whole under command of Major-General George A. Custer. Colonel Frederick D. Grant, the President's oldest son, accompanies the expedition as aid to General Custer. The scientific corps consists of Colonel William Ludlow, U.S. Engineer Corps; W.H. Wood, assistant; Professor N.H. Winchell, geologist; Professor A.B. Donaldson, assistant; George B. Grinnell, paleontologist; L.H. North, assistant; Dr. J.W. Williams, chief medical officer, botanist.
The expedition reached the black Hills about the 20th of July, after a march of eighteen days, mostly over an arid, treeless, desert country. General Custer, in spite of the prophecies of his Indian guides, who declared the ting impossible, succeeded in penetrating to the very interior of the hills with his wagon train, and by sending off detachments of cavalry here and there, has succeeded in exploring and mapping the hills through their entire length and breadth. The country is found to be of great scenic beauty, as shown by our illustrations on this page, and is luxuriant in vegetation, abundant in game, timber, and good water. Thousands of acres of fertile land invite settlement. The country, however, is a part of the Sioux Reservation, and can not be opened to the whites until the government shall make some satisfactory arrangement with the Indians.
On the 31st of July gold was discovered along the banks of a creek on which the expedition was encamped, the best pan yielding from five to ten cents' worth of gold, equivalent to fifty dollars a day to the man, if the yield should prove as good as promised.
We present a view taken on the spot, showing the camp near which gold was discovered. A portion of Custer gulch, as it was named by the miners, is seen on the left. The organ-pipe Range was so called by the party from the peculiar shape of the tall granite range found near the park. A camp view of the principal park in the hills gives some idea of the size of the expedition. This site was selected for the permanent camp, and from this point detachments radiated for several days." Article with images, Harper's Weekly, Sept. 12, 1874.
NotesTitle from caption.
Illus. in: Harper's Weekly, Sept. 12, 1874, p. 753.
One of three images published, others titles 'The camp in the park', and 'Organ-pipe Range'; the latter not digitized.
ContributorIllingworth, W. H. (William H.), 1842-1893
Contributor RolePhotographer
Repository InstitutionNorth Dakota State University Libraries, Institute for Regional Studies
Repository CollectionDakota Lithographs and Engravings Collection Folio 102
Collection Finding AidConsult:
Credit LineInstitute for Regional Studies, NDSU, Fargo (Folio 102 MiG46.3)
Rights ManagementImage in public domain.
Digital IDrsL00110
Original SourceHarper's Weekly, Sept. 12, 1874.
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