This photograph of an unidentified landscape was taken by William Abraham Bell in 1867. The photograph shows the flat land of the desert, highlighting the rocks and plants. A large camp is set up in the distance, and multiple large and small tents are shown (sixteen in total), as well as nine wagons.
In 1867-1868, the Kansas Pacific Railway Company (originally known as the Union Pacific Railroad Eastern Division) organized an expedition to survey potential railroad routes from Kansas to California. There were two expedition parties sent through Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California led by General William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909). Doctor and amateur photographer William Abraham Bell (1841-1921) and professional photographer Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) were appointed to photograph the expedition. Bell traveled primarily with the expedition along the 32nd parallel ending in San Diego. After the survey, Bell was a prominent businessman in the United States and Colorado. He built and operated the Denver and Rio Grande Railway with Palmer and was involved in many other coal, mining, and business ventures.
Gift of Estate of William A. Bell