CDV- Historic View of Capt. Fisk’s Expedition, 1866.


“Capt. Fisk’s Expedition crossing the Table Lands 14 miles east of Ft. Abercrombie.”

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This is a rare view of Captain James L. Fisk’s last expedition from Minnesota to Helena, Montana Territory beginning toward the end of May, 1866.  Advertisements pamphlets in the St. Cloud, Mn. area mentioned going to the “Great Gold Fields of Montana,” and said that military protection to the party would be guaranteed.  The massive wagon train left an early stop at Fort Abercrombie on the morning of June 16, and this carte de visite was taken just 14 miles to the west of that post, as mentioned on the reverse of the image, “Capt. Fisk’s Expedition crossing the Table Lands 14 miles east of Ft. Abercrombie.”  The expedition arrived at Helena in September.

James Fisk was an private in the 3rd Minn. Vol. Infantry during the Civil War, due to his experience as secretary of the Dakota Land Company, which promoted settlement along the Fort Ridgely – South Pass Road, he would later be commissioned a captain and appointed as Superintendent of Emigration on a new route from Fort Abercrombie, Dakota, to Fort Walla Walla, Washington. The 1866 expedition was the last of four, beginning in 1862 (no 1865).

The image shows a massive wagon train, with Fisk surveying the train at a halt, to allow the photographer, William H. Illingworth of St. Paul, Mn. to take this, one in a series of 30 photographs taken  while on this expedition, with very few surviving.

The image is in very good condition, with some staining to upper right corner and rounded crease there as well.

A great historic image, showing a little known event in western American history.

USPS Priority  $4.00



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Weight .75 lbs