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HomeContentsThemes > Colorado


Information requests
445.01   Improving content on US states
445.02   Timothy O'Sullivan: Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian (1871-1874)
Significant locations
445.03   Colorado: Mountain of the Holy Cross
445.04   Colorado: Garden of the Gods
445.05   A Rephotographic Survey of the American West: Mountain of the Holy Cross
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.
Information requests 
445.01   North and Central America >  Improving content on US states 
We are seeking to extend the information and examples we can share on this American state.
  • The introduction of photography - The earliest known photographs of this state/territory and who was involved.
  • Documentary - Significant documentary, expedition or scientific studies - funded by government, industrial, religious groups or charities. Perhaps there have been studies of civil engineering projects, urban renewal and railroad construction. If you know where images can be obtained from let us know.
  • Regional photographic societies - Details on any societies and camera clubs that have been significant.
  • Publications - Local books, directories, journals and articles which you consider are significant in understanding this region. Particularly interested in early illustrated books, portfolios and albums. Images of the covers are useful.
  • Photographic studios - Both historic and contemporary studios along with photographs of them and any photography-related advertising .
  • Photographers - Listings and biographies of important local photographers and those who visited.
  • Anecdotes - Stories about local photographers, studios, collectors or perhaps the story behind a single photograph.
  • Collections - Contact details for collections that you know contain work that should be better known. Are there collections that you know which are at risk? If you own photography collections let us know (This will not be made public without your permission.)
  • Newspapers / magazines - Early examples where their use of photography was innovative or historically significant.
  • Photography in popular culture - Cartoons, tales, songs, poems, superstitions and stories.
  • Unusual - Is there anything unusual that you know about in the history of photography of this region?
  • Experts - Names of any specialists in the photo-history of this state. Have you written about this state and have something you would like to share? (This will not be made public without your permission and please include yourself if you feel it is appropriate.)
These points are indicative of topics that could be included on this page.
If you are able to assist in any way it is appreciated.
445.02   North and Central America >  Timothy O'Sullivan: Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian (1871-1874) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Timothy H. O’Sullivan was one of the official photographers on the Survey west of the 100th Parallel also known as the "Wheeler Survey" as it was headed by George Montague Wheeler. [1] O’Sullivan took a stereo camera and recorded activities of the expedition on plates that were used to create sets of stereocards. The backs of the stereocards are printed in red with "War Department, Corps of Engineers, U. S. A. - Geographical - Exploration and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian" and any explanatory notes.[2] 
   Timothy H  Osullivan 
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Significant locations 
445.03   North and Central America >  Colorado: Mountain of the Holy Cross 
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In 1873 Ferdinand V. Hayden and William Henry Jackson the Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado. The remaining snow in the protected gullies had not blown away and it left a while cross on the mountainside. In an age where the Christian faith was held strong it was seen by some as a heavenly sign - a symbolic message agreeing with the "manifest destiny" of western expansion. William Henry Jackson photographed the mountain on several occassions and artist Thomas Moran made an oil painting in 1875.[3]  
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's wife died in a fire and eighteen years after the tragic event he saw a picture of the Mountain of the Holy Cross and it inspired him to write the sonnet "The Cross of Snow" which contains the lines:
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.[4]
445.04   North and Central America >  Colorado: Garden of the Gods 
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445.05   North and Central America >  A Rephotographic Survey of the American West: Mountain of the Holy Cross 
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The Rephotographic Survey Projects (RSP) of the American West was originated by Mark Klett, Ellen Manchester and JoAnn Verburg. The aim was to revisit and rephotograph locations photographed during the four key surveys of the American West: Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel - Clarence King (1867-1869), U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey - Ferdinand V. Hayden (1867-1869), Survey west of the 100th Parallel - George Montague Wheeler (1869-1879) and River explorations - John Wesley Powell (1869-1872). The first survey started in 1977 funded by an NEA grant and was an exploration of place and the changing topography that that had occured in the intervening hundred years between the orginal albumen prints being made and the Rephotographic Survey photographers.
The Mountain of the Holy Cross was photographed by William Hanry Jackson in 1873 and rephotographed by Mark Klett and Gordon Bushaw in 1977 and again by Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, and Mike Marshall in 2000.[5] 

  1. Λ The original field notebooks are held by the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada at Reno - Wheeler Survey - Field Notebooks Of The U.S. Geographical Survey West Of The 100th Meridian - Collection no. NC319. 
  2. Λ The first card in the stereocard series "War Department, Corps. of Engineers, U.S.A., Geographical, Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian" has a photograph with four boats with oars raised and a group of onlookers on the back the printed note is:
    "1. The start from Camp Mojave, Arizona, September 13, 1871. Boat expedition under Lieutenant Wheeler, the first and only one to ascend the Colorado through the Grand Canon to mouth of Diamond Creek. Distance traveled, 260 miles in 31 days, the boats often having to be portaged around rapids and drawn over rocks."
  3. Λ Thomas Moran's painting, Mountain of the Holy Cross (1875) is in the Museum of the American West, part of the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California. 
  4. Λ For the complete poem: 
  5. Λ Mark Klett, et al., 1984, Second View: The Rephotographics Project, (Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press); Mark Klett et al., 2004, Third Views, Second Sights: A Rephotographic Survey of the American West, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press)


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
Mautz, Carl, 1997, Biographies of Western Photographers. A Reference Guide to Photographers Working in the 19th Century American West, (Nevada City: Carl Mautz Publishing) [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
John K. Hillers 
Fowler, Don D., 2012, Cleaving an Unknown World: The Powell Expeditions and the Scientific Exploration of the Colorado Plateau, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press) isbn-13: 978-1607811466 [Updated publication containing Hillers' diary and photography] [Δ
William Henry Jackson 
Jackson, William Henry & Holmes, William M., 1981, Mesa Verde and the Four Corners: Hayden Survey, 1874-1876, (Bear Creek Publishing Co.) [Δ
Jones, William C., 1992, William Henry Jackson's Colorado, (Colorado Railroad Museum) isbn-10: 0918654475 isbn-13: 978-0918654472 [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

John K. Hillers  (1843-1925) • William Henry Jackson  (1843-1942) • Timothy H. O'Sullivan  (1840-1882)
HomeGeographical regionsNorth and Central AmericaUSA > Colorado 
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HomeVisual indexes > Colorado

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailWilliam Henry Jackson: Garden of the Gods 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailUSA: Colorado: Mountain of the Holy Cross 
Refreshed: 14 August 2014, 04:17
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