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There's Gold in Them There Hills
There're Dinosaurs popping up everywhere!
(I waited a few days for the web site update in hope of an illustration
or two but was disappointed... http://www.linns.com/ )
The May 29, 2000 issue of _Linn's Stamp News_ has a Postal History
article by Richard B. Graham which illustrates a pair of covers
(envelopes) postmarked at Fort Abe Lincoln, Dakota Territory. The
addressee is Prof. O.(thniel) C.(harles) Marsh, Yale College, New Haven,
Conn. The envelopes are docketed as sent by G.(eorge) B.(ird)
G.(rinnell) June 14th, and G. B. Grinnell Aug 15th - 74.
As related in the article, the 7th Cavalry under Lt. Col. George A.
Custer made an expedition into the Black Hills. Professor Marsh and
other well-regarded scientists, including minerologists,
paleontologists, and zoologists were invited to accompany the
expedition. Marsh didn't go but had a former student go with the
Graham related, according to a report of the expedition in the National
Archives, there are two relevant entries regarding the expedition. "The
first entry, a historically important one, states briefly, as of Aug.7,
1874: 'The prospectors found gold this morning.'" This led to the war
with the Sioux and Custer's 7th Cavalry's fatal meeting with Sitting
Bull's camp at Little Big Horn, June 26, 1876. "The other entry, dated
Aug. 15, 1874, notes 'Six Indian Scouts left Camp for Fort Lincoln with
the mail.' This date is the day Grinnell's second cover is docketed."
This was three years before the "Harlow" (William Harlow Reed) and
"Edwards" (William Edward Carlin) Union Pacific Railroad letters to
Marsh about Como Bluff and the "bone wars".
Unfortunately the envelopes are empty. Perhaps the letters may be on
file at the Peabody? Smithsonian? ? The name Grinnell stikes a bell, but
I'm unable to recall any association. Anyone with better recall?
And as for the gold in them there hills... more valuable than jewels or
shiny metal: a great location to find Dinosaurs!
There's more to stamp collecting than just the fanciful, colourful,
denticulated pieces of paper. (Though they're coming soon to my web
Michael Patrick Corriss
http://www.gate.net/~mcorriss/ (nothing new yet)