Nathaniel Pitt Langford's Report to the Secretary
of the Interior for 1872
brought to you by Jim
Nathaniel Pitt Langford and horse.
Nathaniel Pitt Langford was Yellowstone's first Superintendent.
Although he served from 1872-1877, he made only one trip to Yellowstone
and only one report. He joined the Hayden Expedition of 1872 and
made his report after his visit to Yellowstone that year. Langford
had also been a member of the celebrated Washburn Expedition of 1870 and
had lobbied in Congress to make Yellowstone the world's first national
park. Although later in life Langford would claim that he had opposed
those who would destroy the natural beauty of Yellowstone, Langford suggests
that the government might make a great profit leasing timber rights.
Although he opposes several other leases and certainly believes he has
the best interests of the park in mind, his account in later years would
not be the same as it was in early years, nor would it agree with the national
park idea as it has evolved into today where such things as timber are
protected. This account is, in Langford's great ability to describe,
not only a great historical resource, but a charming description of the
park as it appeared to one man in 1872.
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to Yellowstone History Guide
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