Biography and U.S. History

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William Henry Jackson's "The Pioneer Photographer"

Edited by Bob Blair

Of the many published accounts to come out of William Henry Jackson's long career, The Pioneer Photographer, first published in 1929, is widely accepted as Jackson's most trusted autobiography of his early pioneering days and his first eight years as the official photographer for the U.S. Geological Survey. This reconstruction of Jackson's classic work, long out of print, presents 160 photographs and early drawings, paintings, and lithographs by America's best-known landscape photographer, drawing on Jackson's diaries, other published accounts, and his annotations of The Pioneer Photographer to create a complete and multidimensional view of the unfolding nineteenth-century American West. Editor Bob Blair has significantly expanded Jackson's original autobiography, reprinted here in full with the author's annotations, with seventy additional photographs, drawings, and paintings, and extensive excerpts from Jackson's writings, much of the new material drawn from archives and historical collections and never before published.


Bob Blair, an elementary teacher and amateur photographer residing in Taos, New Mexico, first became intrigued with the life and work of William Henry Jackson after obtaining a first edition copy of The Pioneer Photographer. Two decades of research have led to the rediscovery and reissue of this important but forgotten autobiography.

Lee H. Whittlesey is the historian for Yellowstone National Park and the author or editor of numerous books .

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

11 x 8.5 in. 248 pages 136 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, 26 color plates, 3 maps