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Watercolors and Pencil Drawings Related to the Utah Expedition

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-3861

Content Description

Watercolors and pencil drawings created by Henry Sommer related to the United States Army Utah Expedition, including sites, persons, and other activities chiefly in the Kansas Territory and Utah Territory, 1858-1860. An identified site in the Kansas Territory consists of a view of a camp, probably near Fort Leavenworth. Identified sites in the Utah Territory include military camps at Camp Crosman, Camp Floyd (later known as Fort Crittenden), and Fort Bridger. Activities include views of American bison hunting and hare hunting as well as views of soldiers in camps. Includes an interior view of the quarters of Lewis Henry Little as well as an interior view of a Mormon family at their home.

Dates

  • circa 1858-1859

Creator

Language of Materials

Inscriptions in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Henry Sommer, Watercolors and Pencil Drawings Related to the Utah Expedition, is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Perry Adam Antiques on the MacKinnon Family Fund, 2017-2019.

Arrangement

Organized into two series: I. Watercolors, 1858-1860. II. Pencil Drawings, 1858-1859.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.sommer

Overview

Watercolors and pencil drawings created by Henry Sommer related to the United States Army Utah Expedition, including sites, persons, and other activities chiefly in the Kansas Territory and Utah Territory, 1858-1860. An identified site in the Kansas Territory consists of a view of a camp, probably near Fort Leavenworth. Identified sites in the Utah Territory include military camps at Camp Crosman, Camp Floyd (later known as Fort Crittenden), and Fort Bridger. Activities include views of American bison hunting and hare hunting as well as views of soldiers in camps. Includes an interior view of the quarters of Lewis Henry Little as well as an interior view of a Mormon family at their home.

Henry Sommer (approximately 1829-1894)

Henry Sommer was a German-American artist and soldier in the United States Army. He was born Henry V. A. Von Beckh or H. V. A. Baron de Sommerau-Beckh in Kassel, Kurfürstentum Hessen. Sommer attended polytechnic school and trained as an architect at Kassel and immigrated to the United States in 1857.

In December 1857, Sommer enlisted for a five-year term in the United States Army at New York City and trained at Governors Island, New York. In March 1858, he transferred with a rank of private to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, and into Company E of the 7th Infantry. His company then traveled through Fort Bridger, Nebraska Territory, in August-September 1858 while en route to the Utah Territory as part of the Utah Expedition. During the winter of 1858-1859, Sommer and his company stationed at Camp Floyd, Utah Territory. In May-August 1859, he joined a surveying expedition led by Captain James Hervey Simpson (1813-1883) to establish a transportation route from Salt Lake City to Carson City, Nevada. Sommer returned to Camp Floyd and served as a clerk for Lieutenant Colonel Pitcairn Valleau Morrison (1795-1887) before acquiring a discharge from the United States Army in March 1860.

Sommer reenlisted into the United States Army in July 1860 and served during the American Civil War in Company E the 2nd Infantry of the United States Army. He rose in rank from private to first lieutenant during the conflict and received a brevet rank of captain. During the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Sommer suffered a debilitating wound to his left arm. He resigned from military service in May 1868.

In November 1894, Sommer died in at Kings, New York. He was interred at Cypress Hills National Cemetery, New York City.

Custodial History

Formerly owned by Lewis Henry Little.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Description of the watercolors and drawings in this guide derives from item-level descriptions provided by the dealer and augmented by the processing archivst.
Title
Guide to Watercolors and Pencil Drawings Related to the Utah Expedition
Status
Completed
Author
Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
September 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.