A collector of early Southwest American images, our contributor has a hunch this flea market find, a leather bound sketchbook, might outline significant US history.
The date in the sketchbook is 1852 and includes drawings of what look like Southwest landscapes. There are topographical notes and botanical notes, lists of supplies and references to a J.R. Bartlett.
Could that be the John Russell Bartlett who the US Government hired as an early surveyor of the Southwest? Was this sketchbook related to the first US-Mexican border survey?
This investigation takes History Detectives to the fiercely disputed borderlands of the Southwest and to a Bartlett historian who has travelled miles of Bartlett’s original trail. Finally, an art historian advances our journey to its colorful conclusion.
Artwork of the Southwest
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Baker's Gold What role did these unusual drawings play in one of the largest mass migrations in American history?
- Also in Season 8 Space Boot What does this odd-looking boot have to do with America's first steps in space?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Seth Eastman Painting Is this painting a true depiction of Native American life from one of the premiere painters of the American West?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Cherokee Bible What can this bible written in Cherokee tell us about one of the darkest chapters in Indian history?
- Also in Season 8 Copperhead Cane How did this cane inspire a fiery political movement that threatened Lincoln's presidency?
- Also with Eduardo Pagán Lost City of Gold What can these carved letters reveal about the first explorers to visit the American Southwest?
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