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Rail Splinters

A Mission from the President

December 28, 2019

Photography collector/dealer Dave O’Reilly (“CDKat”) recently acquired a very rare stereoview that was listed on eBay. It had a Lincoln-connection which will become apparent upon reading the on-line description:

Minnesota Stereoview. Abraham Lincoln. Nicolay Indian Treaty 1862 RARE by Whitney stereoview of Mineral Springs, Falls of St. Anthony. Depicting a group of people including John G. Nicolay and Indian Commissioner William P Dole. John G. Nicolay was Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary from 1861 – 1865. In August 1862, Lincoln sent Nicolay and Indian Commissioner William P. Dole to Minnesota in an effort to negotiate a peace treaty with the Chippewa Indians. Page 102 from Joel E. Whitney: “Minnesota’s Leading Pioneer photographer.”

NOTE: Rare early square corner mount with Whitney blind stamp on the left and St. Paul blind stamp on the right. Whitney also made this view as a CDV, listed as #333 in the catalogue of his Cartes-de-Visite on page #105. Joel Emmons Whitney: taught by Alexander Hesler of Chicago; Offered daguerreotypes and stereographs; Briefly in partnership with George C. Nichols; Turned over gallery operations to Moses C. Tuttle in 1857; Resumed management of gallery in 1858; In partnership with William S. Combs 1867-1869; Purchased Martin’s Art Gallery from James Edgar Martin in 1869; Employed and then partnered with Charles A. Zimmerman; Sources indicate that his business was sold to two different photographers, Charles A. Zimmerman and Otto C. Pasel.  Address: 1851-1867 Third and Cedar Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

We believe the tallest person in the picture is Nicolay. The man next to Nicolay, on the right, appears to be Dole. In 1862, there was a Sioux uprising in Mankato, Minnesota. Lincoln issued pardons for a great many of the condemned men… those he determined had the greatest culpability.