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The collection consists of an artist's sketchbook, now disbound and laminated, including twenty-one (21) drawings by Making Medicine of scenes of hunting, life at Fort Marion, wagons, trains, and camp life. The drawings are lettered A-U, and individually captioned by George Fox. Inside the front cover the words "Drawn by" and "Cheyenne" are in handwriting of George Fox; the name "Making Medicine" was written by the artist himself. The collection also includes a note from Fox (undated) and letter of transmittal from the donor, Mrs. Burnside (October 1923).
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Making Medicine, also known as O-kuh-ha-tuh or "Sun Dancer" and David Pendleton Oakerhater (1844?-1931) was a Cheyenne warrior who became one of the most prolific of the Native American artists at Fort Marion and first sergeant of the company of guards there. When the Fort Marion prisoners were released in the spring of 1878, Making Medicine went to New York to be educated in the Christian ministry. He took the name David Pendleton Oakerhater after the family that sponsored him (the family of Senator George Pendleton), was ordained an Episcopal deacon on 7 June 1881, and worked as a missionary among the Plains tribes for many years. In 1985, he was the first Native American Anglican to be designated by the Episcopal Church as a saint.
George W. Fox (1853-1886) worked as a trader with John "Jack" S. Evans at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, and became an interpreter for Comanche. From 1875 to March 1877, Fox worked with Richard H. Pratt (1840-1924) and prisoners of war from the southern plains at Fort Marion in St., Florida.
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 under supervision of Lt. Richard H. Pratt. 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.
NAA MS 39B
OPPS NEG 55,047-55,068
A similar book of drawings by Making Medicine containing some of the same scenes and dated July 1876 is in the collection of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Works of art
MS 39-b Making Medicine book of drawings, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution