Ingot and archive originally belonging to Fred Dennett, 32nd Commissioner of the General Land Office, 1908-1913. 1st item: South Dakota tin ingot stamped "Nigger Hill", with Stephen F. Molitor, assayer mark, Deadwood, Dakota Territory. 1" H x 2" W x 1" D. 108.9 grams. Late 19th century. Note: The ingot inscription refers to a tin and gold mining area in the Black Hills of South Dakota, discovered by African Americans. Author Hyman Palais explained the origin of the name of the "Consolidated Nigger Hill Tin Mines" in an article "Black Hills Miners' Folklore" in California Folklore Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 3. (July, 1945), pp. 256: "Another story tells how a group of Negroes from Montana came to the Hills in the early days of the gold rush and asked some miners where they should go to work. The miners jokingly advised them to try the top of a near-by hill, the least likely spot they could think of. Much to the surprise of everyone, luck crowned their efforts, and these Negroes found more gold in this out-of-the-way place… than many of the gulch miners had discovered below." The area was also found to have the largest deposit of tin in North America, so much so that it also became known as "Tinton". Stephen Molitor came from a family of assayers. He went into business with his father around 1858 in San Francisco and then worked as a traveling assayer, arriving in South Dakota by 1885. There he joined with others to form the American Tin Mining Company (for which he served as assayer). 2nd item: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Seattle 1909 diploma, signed by J. E. Chilberg, President of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, and others, dated October 16th, 1909, awarded to Fred Dennett, Comissioner, General Land Office, "for Collaborator for Exhibit of Valuable Services Rendered". Diploma features engraved vignettes of men fishing, a lumber yard, a miner using a hydraulic jet below a female representation of the exhibition holding minerals, and portraits of a Japanese woman holding a model of a ship and an American woman with a model train (symbolizing a meeting of East and West). Gilt exhibition seal lower center. 15 5/8" H x 19 7/8" W. 3rd item: Holton-Arms School Washington, D.C. diploma, signed by Jessie Moon Holton, dated May 29th, 1915, awarded to Dorothy Dixon Dennett, "who has satisfactorily completed the General Course of study proscribed by this school". 14 3/4" H x 19 5/8" W. Early 20th century. 4th item: United States General Land Office 1912 cast bronze medal, depicting an eagle, obverse, with "CENTENNIAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE 1812-1912", reverse. Housed in a black leather case with purple satin and velvet interior lining. Stamped "Jos. K. Davidson's Sons, Philadelphia" in gilt lettering, inside of case, stamped "Hon. Fred Dennett" in gilt lettering, lid of case. Medal – 2" dia. Case – 7/8" H x 3" W x 3" D. Early 20th century. 5th item: Ambrotype depicting a seated man, possibly Reverend D. Richard Dennett, father of Fred Dennett, 32nd Commissioner of the General Land Office, 1908-1913. Housed in a black leather case with metal hardware and red velvet interior lining. Image – 2 1/8" H x 1 1/4" W. Case – 3" H x 2 1/2" W x 5/8" D. Mid/late 19th century. Also included are two broken fountain pens and a drawstring cloth bag. Early 20th century. Provenance: By descent from Fred Dennett, 32nd Commissioner of the General Land Office, 1908-1913. Note: see other related lots in this auction. CONDITION: 1st item: Tarnish, surface of ingot. 2nd item: Diploma with toning, particularly to lower third; minor edge wear. 3rd item: Minute foxing spots, scattered on surface of diploma. 5th item: Overall good condition. 6th item: Spine of leather case split. Case, photograph in worn condition to be expected from age.
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