[Footnote A: In his diary under date of August 22d General Washburn wrote: "Stood guard. Quite cold. Crows (Indians) near."]
[Footnote B: On August 23d General Washburn wrote: "Indians of the Crow tribe."]
[Footnote C: Near where Livingston is now located.]
[Footnote D: Lieutenant Doane in his report to the War Department under date of August 24th writes: "Guards were established here during the night, as there were signs of a party of Indians on the trail ahead of us, all the members of the party taking their tours of this duty, and using in addition the various precautions of lariats, hobbles, etc., not to be neglected while traveling through this country."]
[Footnote E: Under date of August 25th Lieutenant Doane writes: "From this camp was seen the smoke of fires on the mountains in front, while Indian signs became more numerous and distinct." Under date of August 25th General Washburn wrote in his diary: "Have been following Indian trails, fresh ones, all the way. They are about two days ahead of us."]
[Footnote F: These blanks were left in my diary with the intention of filling them, upon the selection by our party of a name for the creek; but after going into camp at Tower fall, the matter of selecting a name was forgotten. A few years later the stream was named Lost creek.]
[Footnote G: In making a copy of my original diary, it is proper at this point to interpolate an account of the circumstances under which the name "Tower" was bestowed upon the creek and fall.
At the outset of our journey we had agreed that we would not give to any object of interest which we might discover the name of any of our party nor of our friends. This rule was to be religiously observed. While in camp on Sunday, August 28th, on the bank of this creek, it was suggested that we select a name for the creek and fall. Walter Trumbull suggested "Minaret Creek" and "Minaret Fall." Mr. Hauser suggested "Tower Creek" and "Tower Fall." After some discussion a vote was taken, and by a small majority the name "Minaret" was decided upon. During the following evening Mr. Hauser stated with great seriousness that we had violated the agreement made relative to naming objects for our friends. He said that the well known Southern family--the Rhetts--lived in St. Louis, and that they had a most charming and accomplished daughter named "Minnie." He said that this daughter was a sweetheart of Trumbull, who had proposed the name--her name--"Minnie Rhett"--and that we had unwittingly given to the fall and creek the name of this sweetheart of Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Trumbull indignantly denied the truth of Hauser's statement, and Hauser as determinedly insisted that it was the truth, and the vote was therefore reconsidered, and by a substantial majority it was decided to substitute the name "Tower" for "Minaret." Later, and when it was too late to recall or reverse the action of our party, it was surmised that Hauser himself had a sweetheart in St. Louis, a Miss Tower. Some of our party, Walter Trumbull especially, always insisted that such was the case. The weight of testimony was so evenly balanced that I shall hesitate long before I believe either side of this part of the story.
[Footnote H: Now Called Inspiration Point.]
[Footnote I: The above quotation is from a poem by John Keats.]
[Footnote J: Dr. P.V. Hayden, geologist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey, first visited this region in the summer of 1871--the year following the visit of the Washburn party, whose discoveries and explorations are recorded in this diary. Dr. Hayden, on his return, graphically described the various wonders which he saw, but had very little to say concerning the mud volcano. This fact was the more inexplicable to me for the reason that the Washburn party thought it one of the most remarkable curiosities to be found in that region, and I was greatly surprised to find that Dr. Hayden made so little allusion to it.
In 1872, the year following Dr. Hayden's first visit, I again visited the volcano, and the omission by Hayden was explained as soon as I saw the volcano in its changed condition. The loud detonations which resembled the discharges of a gun-boat mortar were no longer heard, and the upper part of the crater and cone had in a great measure disappeared, leaving a shapeless and unsightly hole much larger than the former crater, in which large tree-tops were swaying to and fro in the gurgling mass, forty feet below--the whole appearance bearing testimony to the terrible nature of the convulsion which wrought such destruction. Lieutenant Doane, in his official report to the War Department, thus describes the volcano as it appeared in 1870:
"A few hundred yards from here is an object of the greatest interest. On the slope of a small and steep wooded ravine is the crater of a mud volcano, 30 feet in diameter at the rim, which is elevated a few feet above the surface on the lower side, and bounded by the slope of the hill on the upper, converging, as it deepens, to the diameter of 15 feet at the lowest visible point, about 40 feet down. Heavy volumes of steam escape from this opening, ascending to the height of 300 feet. From far down in the earth came a jarring sound, in regular beats of five seconds, with a concussion that shook the ground at 200 yards' distance. After each concussion came a splash of mud, as if thrown to a great height; sometimes it could be seen from the edge of the crater, but none was entirely ejected while we were there. Occasionally an explosion was heard like the bursting of heavy guns behind an embankment, and causing the earth to tremble for a mile around. The distance to which this mud had been thrown is truly astonishing. The ground and falling trees near by were splashed at a horizontal distance of 200 feet. The trees below were either broken down or their branches festooned with dry mud, which appeared in the tops of the trees growing on the side hill from the same level with the crater, 50 feet in height, and at a distance of 180 feet from the volcano. The mud, to produce such effects, must have been thrown to a perpendicular elevation of at least 300 feet. It was with difficulty we could believe the evidence of our senses, and only after the most careful measurements could we realize the immensity of this wonderful phenomenon."
The visitor to the Park who has read the description given by Washburn, Hedges, Doane or myself, of the mud volcano as it appeared in 1870, will readily perceive that it has undergone a great change since the time of its first discovery.
In my account of my trip made in 1872, published in Scribner's (now Century) Magazine for June, 1873, I say, concerning this change: "A large excavation remained; and a seething, bubbling mass of mud, with several tree-tops swaying to and fro in the midst, told how terrible and how effectual must have been the explosions which produced such devastation. I could not realize that in this unsightly hole I beheld all that was left of those physical wonders which filled this extraordinary region. * * * Great trees that then decorated the hillside were now completely submerged in the boiling mass that remained."
The trees with their green tops, which were visible in 1872, have now entirely disappeared. Can any one conjecture what has become of them?]
[Footnote K: Lieutenant Doane, on page 19 of his report to the War Department, says with reference to this surgical operation:
"I had on the previous evening been nine days and nights without sleep or rest, and was becoming very much reduced. My hand was enormously swelled, and even ice water ceased to relieve the pain. I could scarcely walk at all, from excessive weakness. The most powerful opiates had ceased to have any effect. A consultation was held, which resulted in having the thumb split open. Mr. Langford performed the operation in a masterly manner, dividing thumb, bone, and all. An explosion ensued, followed by immediate relief. I slept through the night, all day, and the next night, and felt much better. To Mr. Langford, General Washburn, Mr. Stickney and the others of the party I owe a lasting debt for their uniform kindness and attention in the hour of need."]
[Footnote L: Repeated efforts to ascend the Grand Teton, made prior to the year 1872, all terminated in failure. On the 29th day of July of that year the summit was reached by James Stevenson, of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Nathaniel P. Langford, the writer of this diary. An account of this ascent was published in Scribner's (now Century) Magazine for June, 1873. The next ascent was made in 1898 by Rev. Frank S. Spalding, of Erie, Pennsylvania, and W.O. Owen, of Wyoming, and two assistants. This ascent was accomplished after two failures of Mr. Owen in previous years to reach the summit. Mr. Owen then asserted that the summit of the mountain was not reached in 1872 by Stevenson and Langford. His efforts--in which Mr. Spalding had no part--to impeach the statement of these gentlemen failed utterly. Mr. Spalding, who was the first member of his party to reach the summit, writes: "I believe that Mr. Langford reached the summit because he says he did, and because the difficulties of the ascent were not great enough to have prevented any good climber from having successfully scaled the peak, * * * and I cannot understand why Mr. Owen failed so many times before he succeeded."]
[Footnote M: The bay here referred to is at the "Thumb" Station.]
[Footnote N: Captain Raynolds wrote on May 10, 1860: "To our front and upon the right the mountains towered above us to the height of from 2,000 to 3,000 feet in the shape of bold, craggy peaks of basaltic formation, their summits crowned with glistening snow. * * * It was my original desire to go from the head of Wind river to the head of the Yellowstone, keeping on the Atlantic slope, thence down the Yellowstone, passing the lake, and across by the Gallatin to the Three forks of the Missouri. Bridger said, at the outset, that this would be impossible, and that it would be necessary to pass over to the head waters of the Columbia, and back again to the Yellowstone. I had not previously believed that crossing the main crest twice would be more easily accomplished than the travel over what in effect is only a spur; but the view from our present camp settled the question adversely to my opinion at once. Directly across our route lies a basaltic ridge, rising not less than 5,000 feet above us, the walls apparently vertical, with no visible pass nor even cañon. On the opposite side of this are the head waters of the Yellowstone."]
[Footnote O: Later, in 1833, the indomitable Captain Bonneville was lost in this mountain labyrinth, and, after devising various modes of escape, finally determined to ascend the range.
Washington Irving, in his charming history, "Bonneville's Adventures," thus describes the efforts of General Bonneville and one of his comrades to reach the summit of this range:
"After much toil he reached the summit of a lofty cliff, but it was only to behold gigantic peaks rising all around, and towering far into the snowy regions of the atmosphere. He soon found that he had undertaken a tremendous task; but the pride of man is never more obstinate than when climbing mountains. The ascent was so steep and rugged that he and his companion were frequently obliged to clamber on hands and knees, with their guns slung upon their backs. Frequently, exhausted with fatigue and dripping with perspiration, they threw themselves upon the snow, and took handfuls of it to allay their parching thirst. At one place they even stripped off their coats and hung them upon the bushes, and thus lightly clad proceeded to scramble over these eternal snows. As they ascended still higher there were cool breezes that refreshed and braced them, and, springing with new ardor to their task, they at length attained the summit."]
[Footnote P: Soon after the return of our party to Helena, General Washburn, then surveyor-general of Montana, made in his office for the Interior Department at Washington, a map of the Yellowstone region, a copy of which he gave to me. He told me that in recognition of the assistance I had rendered him in making a fair outline of Yellowstone lake, with its indented shore and promontories, he had named for me the mountain on the top of which I stood when I made the sketch of the south shore of the lake. I called his attention to the fact that Lieutenant Doane had been my comrade in making the ascent, and suggested that Doane's name be given to the adjoining peak on the north. He approved of this suggestion, and the map, with these mountains so named, was transmitted to the Interior Department.
Dr. Hayden, the geologist in charge of the United States geological survey, made his first visit to this region the following year (1871), and on the map which he issued in connection with his 1871 report, the name "Mount Langford" was given to another mountain far to the northeast. Since that time my name has again been transferred to a mountain on the southeast. I think that Dr. Hayden must have been aware at that time that this mountain bore my name; for he had read the account of the Washburn exploration, which was published in Scribner's Magazine for May, 1871, accompanied by a copy of the map made by General Washburn.
The significance of connecting my name with this mountain is centered in the circumstance that it was intended to mark or commemorate an important event--that of giving to the public a very correct outline map of Yellowstone lake. In confirmation of the fact that the first outline of the lake approximating any degree of accuracy was made from the mountain-top, I here quote from page 21 of Lieutenant Doane's report to the War Department.
"The view from this peak commanded completely the lake, enabling us to sketch a map of its inlets and bearings with considerable accuracy."
On page 23 of this report Lieutenant Doane speaks of this mountain as "Mount Langford." The map last published previous to that made by General Washburn was that of Captain Raynolds, of which I here present a copy, as well as a copy of the map made by me.]
[Footnote Q: On our return to Helena, Walter Trumbull published, in the Helena Gazette, some incidents of our trip, and from his narrative I copy the following account of our hunt for the grizzly:
"Some of the party who had gone a short distance ahead to find out the best course to take the next day, soon returned and reported a grizzly and her two cubs about a quarter of a mile from camp. Six of the party decorated themselves as walking armories, and at once started in pursuit. Each individual was sandwiched between two revolvers and a knife, was supported around the middle by a belt of cartridges, and carried in his hand a needle carbine. Each one was particularly anxious to be the first to catch the bear, and an exciting foot-race ensued until the party got within 300 yards of the place where the bear was supposed to be concealed. The foremost man then suddenly got out of breath, and, in fact, they all got out of breath. It was an epidemic. A halt was made, and the brute loudly dared to come out and show itself, while a spirited discussion took place as to what was best to do with the cubs. The location was a mountain side, thickly timbered with tall straight pines having no limbs within thirty feet of the ground. It was decided to advance more cautiously to avoid frightening the animal, and every tree which there was any chance of climbing was watched with religious care, in order to intercept her should she attempt to take refuge in its branches. An hour was passed in vain search for the sneaking beast, which had evidently taken to flight. Then this formidable war party returned to camp, having a big disgust at the cowardly conduct of the bear, but, as the darkie said, 'not having it bad.' Just before getting in sight of camp, the six invincibles discharged their firearms simultaneously, in order to show those remaining behind just how they would have slaughtered the bear, but more particularly just how they did not. This was called the 'Bear Camp.'"
Mr. Trumbull was one of the party of hunters whose efforts to capture the bear he so well describes.]
[Footnote R: Our subsequent journeying showed that Lieutenant Doane was right in his conjecture.]
[Footnote S: The Honorable Granville Stuart, of Montana, in his book "Montana as It Is," published in 1865, says that there is another root found in portions of Montana which I have never seen. Mr. Stuart says:
"Thistle-root is the root of the common thistle, which is very abundant in the bottoms along nearly all the streams in the mountain. They grow to about the size of a large radish, and taste very much like turnips, and are good either raw or cooked with meat."
Captain William Clark, of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition, dropped the final e from the word cowse, spelling it c-o-w-s. Unless this error is noticed by the reader, he will not understand what Captain Clark meant when he said that members of his party were searching for the cows.]
[Footnote T: Lieutenant Doane, in his official report to the War Department, says, concerning this episode:
"Washburn and Langford * * * became entangled in an immense swampy brimstone basin, abounding in sulphur springs. * * * Mr. Langford's horse broke through several times, coming back plastered with the white substance and badly scalded."]
[Footnote U: The location of this camp is what is now called the "Thumb" station on the stage route.]
[Footnote V: Analyses of the various specimens of mud taken from the springs in this locality, made on our return to Helena, gave the following results:
White Sediment. Lavender Sediment. Pink Sediment.
Silica......... 42.2 Silica ........ 28.2 Silica ........ 32.6
Magnesia....... 33.4 Alumina........ 58.6 Alumina........ 52.4
Lime........... 17.8 Boracic acid.... 3.2 Oxide of calcium 8.3
Alkalis......... 6.6 Oxide of iron... 0.6 Soda and potassa 4.2
------ Oxide of calcium 4.2 Water and loss.. 2.5
100.0 Water and loss.. 5.2 -----
These analyses were made by Professor Augustus Steitz, assayer of the First National Bank of Helena, Mont.]
[Footnote W: On our return home, finding that no tidings of Mr. Everts had been received, Jack Baronette and George A. Prichett, two experienced trappers and old mountaineers, were provided with thirty days' provisions and dispatched in search of him, and by them Mr. Everts was found on October 16th, after wandering in the forest for thirty-seven days from the time he was lost. From the letter of Mr. Prichett addressed to Mr. Gillette, myself and others, I quote: "We found him on the 16th inst. on the summit of the first big mountain beyond Warm Spring creek, about seventy-five miles from Fort Ellis. He says he subsisted all this time on one snow bird, two small minnows and the wing of a bird which he found and mashed between two stones, and made some broth of in a yeast powder can. This was all, with the exception of thistle roots, he had subsisted on."
The narrative of Mr. Everts, of his thirty-seven days' sojourn in the wilderness (published in Scribner's Magazine for November, 1871, and in volume V. of the Montana Historical Society publications), furnishes a chapter in the history of human endurance, exposure, and escape, almost as incredible as it is painfully instructive and entertaining.]
[Footnote X: Our general line of travel from the southwest estuary of the lake (Thumb) to the Firehole river was about one mile south of the present stage route. The tourist who to-day makes the rapid and comfortable tour of the park by stage, looking south from Shoshone Point, may catch a glimpse of a portion of the prostrate forest through and over which we struggled, and thus form some idea of the difficulties which beset us on our journey from the lake to the Firehole river.]
[Footnote Y: Called now Kepler's cascade.]
[Footnote Z: An incident of so amusing a character occurred soon after my return to Helena, that I cannot forbear narrating it here. Among the specimens of silica which I brought home were several dark globules about the size of nutmegs. I exhibited these to a noted physician of Helena, Dr. Hovaker, and soon after the return of Mr. Gillette from his search for Mr. Everts, I called upon him at his store and exhibited to him these specimens of silica. At the same time I took a nutmeg from a box upon the store counter, and playfully asked Gillette, in the presence of Dr. Hovaker, if he had found any of those singular incrustations. Dr. Hovaker, believing of course that the specimen I held in my hand came from the Yellowstone, took the nutmeg, and with wonder exhibited in every feature, proceeded to give it a critical examination, frequently exclaiming: "How very like it is to a nutmeg." He finally took a nutmeg from a box near by, and balanced the supposed incrustation with it, declaring the former to be the lighter. Asking my permission to do so, he took the nutmeg (which he supposed to be an incrustation) to a jeweler in the vicinity, and broke it. The aroma left him no doubt as to its character, but he was still deceived as to its origin. When I saw him returning to the store, in anticipation of the reproof I should receive, I started for the rear door; but the Doctor, entering before I reached it, called me back, and in a most excited manner declared that we had discovered real nutmegs, and nutmegs of a very superior quality. He had no doubt that Yellowstone lake was surrounded by nutmeg trees, and that each of our incrustations contained a veritable nutmeg. In his excitement he even proposed to organize a small party to go immediately to the locality to gather nutmegs, and had an interview with Charley Curtis on the subject of furnishing pack animals for purposes of transportation. When, on the following day, he ascertained the truth, after giving me a characteristic lecture, he revenged himself by good naturedly conferring upon the members of our party the title, by which he always called them thereafter, of "Nutmegs."
[Footnote AA: James Bridger was famous for the marvelous stories he was accustomed to relate of his mountain life and experiences. He once told me that he had seen a river which flowed so rapidly over the smooth surface of a descending rock ledge in the bottom of the stream, that the water was "hot at the bottom." My experience in crossing the Firehole river that day, leads me to believe that Bridger had had, at some time, a similar experience. He well knew that heat and fire could be produced by friction. Like other mountain men, he had doubtless, many a time, produced a fire by friction; and he could not account for the existence of a hot rock in the bed of a cold stream, except upon the theory that the rapid flow of water over the smooth surface evolved the heat, by friction.
[Footnote AB: This lake is now called "Hell's Half-acre;" and from the lower lake the "Excelsior" geyser has burst forth.]
[Footnote AC: The fountain and jets here referred to are those of the Lower Geyser Basin, and the larger column of water which we saw is undoubtedly the "Fountain" geyser, named by Dr. Hayden in 1871.]
[Footnote AD: In the course of a recent correspondence with Mr. Stickney, I asked him if he recalled this incident. Under date of May 20, 1905, he wrote me from Sarasota, Florida: "The maple sugar incident had almost faded from my memory, but like a spark of fire smouldering under rubbish it needed but a breath to make it live, and I recall my reflections, after my astonishment, that you did so many quaint things, that it was quite in accordance with them that you should produce maple sugar in a sulphurous region."
[Footnote AE: This stream was afterwards named "Gibbon river."]