About the book
  • Details
  • Hardcover:
  • $32 first book
  • $30 second and thereafter
  • Softcover:
  • $22 first book
  • $20 second and thereafter
  • Pages: 194
  • Pictures/plates: 19
  • Publisher: Sniktau/Xlibris
  • Pub Date: September 2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN (cloth): 1-4257-7117-1
  • ISBN-13 (cloth): 978-1425771218
  • ISBN (paper): 1-4257-7117-3
  • ISBN-13 (paper): 978-1425771171
  • Dimensions: 6.0"x9.0"x1.1"
  • Shipping weight: 1.2 pounds

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  • Online:
    From Xlibris
  • Phone: Xlibris, 888-795-4274

  • Buzz about the book
  • "It is so nice that we have this corner of Yellowstone Park history fleshed out."
  • Lee Whittlesey,
    Yellowstone Park Historian
  • "The book makes it clear that Senator Vest and General Sheridan used the Arthur expedition as leverage for the political battle ahead, and it stimulated a good deal of public interest in Yellowstone."
  • David Wetzel,
    retired editor of publications for the Colorado Historical Society

2  Excerpt: The Final Days of a Long Journey

August 31, 1883

The party followed a wagon trail rarely used by tourists in 1883 to Mammoth Hot Springs, and the last campsite of the long journey. They traveled over an area called "Pleasant Valley," crossed Blacktail [Deer] Creek, and passed along the base of Mount Everts to park headquarters. This route follows today's northern portion of the park loop road. Fortunately, as the AP correspondent noted, rain fell overnight and dampened an otherwise dusty road. The day's official report noted, "the march of 350 miles is finished." That referred to the miles from Ft. Washakie to Mammoth Hot Springs.

Upon reaching the campsite, near the park superintendent's residence, most of the group first sought a hot bath. Others visited the new hotel, just opened to tourists, about 300 yards away. Senator Vest and Governor Crosby preferred to fish first, and after catching 75 trout, joined the larger group in the afternoon. The evening activity included an impromptu reception at the hotel, organized by Rufus Hatch, an official of the Yellowstone National Park Improvement Company, with wines and cigars provided. It became festive after the lighting of a huge campfire of logs and fallen timber. A party of tourists from the hotel joined the group, mainly to pay respects to the president, but they also serenaded the prominent visitors with songs.

Because there were many people who saw President Arthur at the hotel and other locations near Mammoth Hot Springs, it is not surprising that written accounts of the festivities surfaced. William Hardman, editor of the London Morning Post, provided one story of the evening in his book A Trip to America. George Thomas, a hotel employee, who attended the reception, provided his version in writing.

Thomas'ss eyewitness account told of an incident that must have been embarrassing for the president, and General Sheridan. Thomas said Lt. Col. Sheridan, the expedition reporter, was the only member of the traveling party not at the reception when it began, but he appeared later, apparently drunk. Thomas said Sheridan was discourteous to the president, causing Arthur to leave the reception, and bringing an end to the event. Thomas said Sheridan's behavior was prompted by not receiving a promotion from the president.

Hardman encountered the Arthur party after touring the park with foreign visitors. He wrote of the evening: