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Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent, or What Really Happened at the Historic AMK Ranch, Maura Jane Farrelly

July 18 @ 5:30 pm 8:30 pm MDT

A historic photo of a woman playing violin under the awning of an old cabin with the Teton Mountains and Jackson Lake in the background
Edith playing violin, Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

2024 Harlow Summer Seminar Series: July 18th

Talk Title: Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent, or What Really Happened at the Historic AMK Ranch
Speaker: Maura Jane Farrelly, Brandeis University

We will host a BBQ at 5:30 followed by the seminar at 6:30, with a $10.00 suggested donation for attending the event. The event is open to the public and reservations are not required.

Attend Virtually: The talk will also be live on Zoom. The zoom link will be made available through our email list. If you haven’t already, join our mailing list!

Talk Abstract

Most visitors to the UW-NPS Research Station at AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park think they know the story of Hamilton and Sargent:

John Dudley Sargent was the original owner of the homestead the research station now sits on. Robert Ray Hamilton was his business partner. Both men came from historically famous families whose prominence dated back to before the country’s founding. Together, they built a lodge on Jack Sargent’s homestead, which they planned on marketing to well-heeled hunters they knew back home in New York and New England. Their plan went awry, however, in the summer of 1890, when Jack Sargent — who was known throughout Jackson Hole for his violent temper — killed Ray Hamilton. He killed his wife a few years later, before going on to marry an eccentric violinist named Edith…

Or so the story goes.

In a new triple-biography that one critic has called a “fascinating work of historical detection, a compelling dialogue between past and present, a brilliant mediation on the historian’s craft, and vivid portrait of a modernizing United States,” Maura Jane Farrelly uncovers the real story or what did — and did not — happen at the historic AMK ranch. As with most things, the story is more complicated than people have understood.

Farrelly will do a short reading from her book, Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent: A Story of Mystery and Tragedy on the Gilded Age Frontier. She will share stories about some of her discoveries (but not all of them!). She’ll also discuss the research challenges she faced and the obligations she felt she had to assume in order to write this book respectfully and well.

Speaker Bio

Maura Jane Farrelly is Associate Professor and Chair of American studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  She is the author of three books: Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity (2012); Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860 (2017); and Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent: A Story of Mystery and Tragedy on the Gilded Age Frontier (2024).  Prior to joining the faculty at Brandeis, Farrelly worked full-time as a radio reporter in Atlanta, Washington, DC, and New York.

View seminar poster.

Amk Ranch Rd
Moran, WY 83013 United States
+ Google Map
uwnps@uwyo.edu

Driving Directions: Turn right when entering the Leek’s Marina parking lot in Grand Teton National Park, and follow the road to the station.