The quality of some of these photos are just amazing when you consider that they were taken 150 years ago…
Civil War Photos 1861 - 1865
19th century housing: Members of Clarence King's Fortieth Parallel Survey team explore the land near Oreana, Nevada, in 1867. Clarence King was a 25-year-old Yale graduate, who hired Irish tough guy O'Sullivan for his Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. Funded by the War Department, the plan was to survey the unexplored territory that lay between the California Sierras and the Rockies, with a view toward finding a good place to lay railroad tracks while also looking for mining possibilities and assessing the level of Indian hostility in the area.
Incredible: Tents can be seen (bottom, centre) at a point known as Camp Beauty close to canyon walls in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. Photographed in 1873 and situated in northeastern Arizona, the area is one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes in North American and holds preserved ruins of early indigenous people's such as The Anasazi and Navajo.
On this rock I build a church: Old Mission Church, Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico pictured in 1873 where the Zuni people of North have lived for millennia. O'Sullivan was famous for not trying to romanticise the native American plight or way of life in his photographs and instead of asking them to wear tribal dress was happy to photograph them wearing denim jeans.
Land rising from the water: The Pyramid and Domes, a line of dome-shaped tufa rocks in Pyramid Lake, Nevada photographed in 1867. Taken as part of Clarence King's Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel, O'Sullivan's mesmerising pictures of the other-wordly rock formations at Pyramid Lake committed the sacred native American Indian site to camera for the first time
Sangre De Christo [sic] Range from Bull Hill
|In this rich portrait, made in a Washington studio, Arny characteristically wears an Indian blanket over his suit.|