nathaniel langford

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Exploring Yellowstone in 1870 on the Washburn Expedition with ‘Little Invulnerable’

The remote area that became Yellowstone National Park was a roadless wilderness when the famous Washburn Expedition explored it in 1870. That meant they had to carry supplies on packhorses. Vital as these animals were to survival, the explorers rarely mentioned them. But, one horse’s antics earned him a place in several journals and a nickname. Here’s Nathaniel P. Langford’s description of “Little Invulnerable.” Continue Reading →

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Author describes creation of Yellowstone Park as following a violent course

Gustavus Cheyeney Doane, fourth from left with sash, was a soldier who figures prominently in Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone, by George Black. (Pioneer Museum - click to enlarge)

Yellowstone National Park looms large in the public imagination as an inspirational idea, unique landscape and critically important haven for wildlife. But according to one author and historian, its creation resulted as much from violence, ambition and greed as from high-minded ideals. The patterns outlined in George Black's, Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone, are hardly unique in American history, or any other history, for that matter. But they may come as a jolt to those who mistakenly believe that Yellowstone was devoid of people until the arrival of white Americans in the second half of the 19th century. Continue Reading →

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