The manuscript contains 28 drawings depicting warfare, courting, hunting, dances, a horse race, and an intertribal meeting. The drawings also include 5 pages with pictographs representing various words and the names of the prisoners. Included in the manuscript are rosters of the Ft. Marion prisoners listing the prisoners' names and tribal affiliations. Several drawings are inscribed with the name of Koba, some with the name Etahdleuh. Most were probably drawn by Koba.
Biographical / Historical:
Koba (Wild Horse) was born in 1848. During the Red River War he was a member of the Kiowa band that surrendered on February 18, 1875. Following his surrender, he was confined at Fort Sill, Indian Territory. He was accused of stealing horses and mules in Texas and participating in the August 22, 1874 skirmish at the Wichita Agency, one of the opening engagements of the Red River War. He was among the Kiowa prisoners who were incarcerated in Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida following the end of the conflict. He arrived at Fort Marion on May 21, 1875. After his release from Ft. Marion, Koba attended the Hampton Institute in Virginia. He arrived at Hampton on April 14, 1878. In June of 1879, he left Hampton to work on a farm in Lee, Massachusetts. He then enrolled in the Carlisle Institute in Pennsylvania, where he studied to be a tinsmith. He arrived at Carlisle on October 7, 1879. On September 10, 1880, Koba left Carlisle on what was intended to be a brief trip to Indian Territory. Although his health was failing, he was deemed fit to travel. He died of consumption on September 24, 1880, only three days after arriving at his destination.
Etahdleuh (1856-1888) was also known as Etahdleeuh, Etadeleuh, Etahdleuh Doanmoe, Boy, and Boy Hunting. He was imprisoned at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida from 1875-1878. After his release from Fort Marion, he attended the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, arriving in April, 1878. In 1879, he travelled to the Indian Territory to recruit pupils to attend the Carlisle Institute in Pennsylvania, where he would study and work on and off from 1879 to 1887. He made two extended trips back to the reservation during this period and from February to May 1880, he worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He was trained as a Presbyterian missionary and returned to the reservation in January 1888 to serve in this capacity.
For further biographical information on Koba or Etahdleuh see Karen Daniels Petersen, Plains Indian Art from Fort Marion, University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.
Fort Marion, also known as Castillo de San Marco, is a stone fortress in St. Augustine, Florida. Between 1875 and 1878, seventy-two prisoners from the southern plains were incarcerated in the fort. Captain Richard Pratt supervised the prisoners during their incarceration at Fort Marion. The prisoners consisted of 27 Kiowas, 33 Cheyennes, 9 Comanches, 2 Arapahos, and a single Caddo. With the exception of one Cheyenne woman, all the prisoners were men. They had been accused of participating in the recent Red River War, earlier hostilities, or both. With the exception of the wife and daughter of one of the Comanche men, the prisoners families were not allowed to accompany them to Fort Marion. For further information on Fort Marion see Karen Daniels Petersen, Plains Indian Art from Fort Marion, University of Oklahoma Press, 1971 and Richard Pratt, Battlefield and Classroom, ed. by R. M. Utley, Yale University Press, 1964.