speaker-photo

Megan Kate Nelson

Saving Yellowstone

Megan Kate Nelson is a writer and historian living in Massachusetts. She has written about the Civil War, U.S. western history, and American culture for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Time, and Smithsonian Magazine. Nelson earned her BA in history and literature from Harvard University and her PhD in American studies from the University of Iowa. She is the author of The Three-Cornered War, Ruin Nation, and Trembling Earth. 

Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America examines the larger context of this American moment, illuminating geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden’s survey of the Yellowstone basin as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war. The book follows Hayden and two others in pursuit of their own agendas: Sitting Bull, a Lakota leader who asserted his people’s claim to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Great Northwest. Hayden, Cooke, and Sitting Bull staked their claims to Yellowstone at a critical moment in Reconstruction, when the Ulysses S. Grant administration and the 42nd U.S. Congress were testing the reach and the purpose of federal power across the nation.

Sponsored in part by Residence Inn

October 29, 10 - 11am, Saturday

Speaker Schedule

Megan Kate Nelson

Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America illuminates geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden’s survey of the Yellowstone basin as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war.

Sponsored in part by Residence Inn.

Ron Robinson Theater, 10-11 am