This book tells the intertwined stories of photography and the American West-a new medium and a new place that came of age together in the nineteenth century. The story begins just a few years after the invention of the daguerreotype in 1839, as pioneering photographers followed American troops into the Mexican-American War. Taking advantage of rapidly developing technology, photographers soon set out across the overland trails, recorded the shifting fortunes of California's goldseekers, pictured native peoples, and documented the spectacular topography of the American West. The new medium of photography made vivid a landscape few Americans had seen for themselves.
Resurrecting scores of little-known images of the nineteenth-century American West, Print the Legend offers engaging tales of ambitious photographic adventurers, missing photographs, and misinterpreted images. Chronicling both the history of a place and the history of a medium, this book portrays how Americans first came to understand western photographs and, consequently, to envision their expanding nation.
Author Biography: Martha A. Sandweiss is professor of history and American studies at Amherst College. She is the author of numerous books on American history and photography, including Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace. She is the coeditor of The Oxford History of the American West, which won the prestigious Caughey Award from the Western History Association.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: Picture Stories: Photography and the Nineteenth-Century West||1|
|1||"The Spirit Is Wanting" Photography and the Mexican-American War||15|
|2||"Of Instruction for Their Faithfulness" Panoramas, Indian Galleries, and Western Daguerreotypes||47|
|3||"A Panorama of the Country" Government Enterprise, Daguerreotypes, and the Exploration of the Far West||87|
|4||"The Attempt Has Not Met with Distinguished Success" Early Wet-Plate Photography and Western Exploration||121|
|5||"Westward the Course of Empire" Photography and the Invention of an American Future||155|
|6||"Momentoes of the Race" Photography and the American Indian||207|
|7||"Print the Legend" Western Photography and the Illustrated Book||275|
|Epilogue: Pictures as History and Memory: Photography and the Story of the Western Past||325|