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Nathaniel Pitt Langford

Nathaniel Pitt Langford books and biography

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The Discovery Of Yellowstone Park


By Nathaniel Pitt Langford
Historical

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Nathaniel P. Langford

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Nathaniel P. Langford (1832 - 1911), also known as "National Park" Langford, was the first superintendent of Yellowstone National Park and was a member of the 1870 Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition to explore the park and was an advocate to preserve the Yellowstone region.

There was no money available to offer him a salary for this new position, so he had to make his living elsewhere. This left Langford with little time to run the park, and he entered it only twice during his five years as superintendent. The first time was as a guest on the second Hayden Expedition in 1872, and his second took place in 1874 to evict a man named Matthew McGuirk. McGuirk claimed to own the Boiling River-one of the park's hot springs rumored to have healing powers.

Langford had no salary, no funding for the park, and no legal way to enforce protection for its wildlife and geologic features. Political pressure, which took the guise of accusing Langford of neglect, forced the removal of Yellowstone's first superintendent in 1877. He was replaced by Philetus W. Norris.

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