[ORIGINAL PEN AND INK DRAWING OF FORT D. A. RUSSELL, WYOMING TERRITORY, 1869]
1869·Fort Russell, Wyoming Territory
by Alden, Abby Francis
Fort Russell, Wyoming Territory, 1869. Single sheet of heavy gauge paper, 8 x 11 inches. Three tiny punch holes near the top edge, a few pinholes at top left corner. Very good. A beautifully-executed ink and wash drawing of Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming Territory, near present-day Cheyenne. It is titled, "Ft Russell. from the South." Fort Russell was established in 1867 to protect workers building the Union Pacific Railroad, and was named in honor of David Allen Russell, a Civil War general killed at the Battle of Opequon. The post remained a key fort throughout the various conflicts with the Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes of the region over the decade after its establishment. Little is known of the artist, who signs the drawing, "A. F. Alden, Del. Aug. 1869." She was evidently the sister of the post surgeon, Major Charles Henry Alden, who was stationed at Fort Russell for three years, 1868- 1871. Very likely she was visiting her brother, possibly at the time of the opening of the transcontinental railroad in the summer of 1869. Her eye for detail was extraordinary. The drawing shows the fort from the south, a dense cluster of buildings situated on a ridge, proudly flying an American flag at center. A visually evocative historical work from the American West. HEITMAN, HISTORICAL REGISTER, p. 155. (Inventory #: WRCAM49257)
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