Seth Bullock’s Expedition to Yellowstone

64 [Montana] Bullock, Seth. Original Manuscript Journal, “Journal of Yellowstone Expeditionary Corps.” Approximately 46 unnumbered pages, in pencil in Bullock’s hand, dated August 23rd
to September 20, 1872. Recorded in ledger volume with spine missing, signatures loose, early burn marks from fire to edges. With ink notation on cover signed by Bullock and dated at Deadwood, D.T., 1879, and three penciled maps and notes in Bullock’s hand. Housed in custom cloth case with leather spine label. Provenance: James O. Aplan Collection (with his distinctive red library stamp in several places; collector and dealer in South Dakota); purchased en bloc by a collector in the 1980s.

Bullock’s importance to Montana and Western
history can hardly be overestimated; the
Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography I:190, noting that Bullock arrived in Helena in 1867; he
served in the Montana Territorial Senate in 1871-1872, and in the late summer of 1872 “he
and others made a horseback reconnaissance of the Yellowstone area, Bullock keeping a journal of their expedition”, he was elected Sheriff of Lewis and Clark County in 1873, having theprevious year faced down a lynch mob and carried out the first legal hanging in Montana; in 1876 he moved to Deadwood, first becoming Sheriff and later U.S. Marshall; he was a lifelong friend of Theodore Roosevelt. There are several factors that influence the price of this journal. First, it is in the hand of one of the legendary lawmen of the West; Secondly, Bullock’s fame has increased with time (most recently due to the success of the HBO series, Deadwood). Third, there are few manuscript sources for Bullock’s adventures. Fourth, this is one of the earliest accounts of the exploration of Yellowstone.

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