Photographs relating to Native Americans or frontier themes, including portraits, expedition photographs, landscapes, and other images of dwellings, transportation, totem poles, ceremonies, infants and children in cradleboards, camps and towns, hunting and fishing, wild west shows, food preparation, funeral customs, the US Army and army posts, cliff dwellings, and grave mounds and excavations. The collection also includes images of prisoners at Fort Marion in 1875, Sioux Indians involved in the Great Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, the Fort Laramie Peace Commission of 1868, Sitting Bull and his followers after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
There are studio portraits of well-known Native Americans, including American Horse, Big Bow, Four Bears, Iron Bull, Ouray, Red Cloud, Red Dog, Red Shirt, Sitting Bull, Spotted Tail, Three Bears, and Two Guns White Calf. Depicted delegations include a Sauk and Fox meeting in Washington, DC, with Lewis V. Bogy and Charles E. Mix in 1867; Kiowas and Cheyennes at the White House in 1863; and Dakotas and Crows who visited President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Images of schools show Worcester Academy in Vinita, Oklahoma; Chilocco Indian School; Carlisle Indian Industrial School; Haskell Instittue, and Albuquerque Indian School.
Some photographs relate to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876; World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893; Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, 1903; and Centennial Exposition of the Baltimore and Ohio Railraod, 1876. Expedition photographs show the Crook expedition of 1876, the Sanderson expedition to the Custer Battlefield in 1877, the Wheeler Survey of the 1870s, Powell's surveys of the Rocky Mountain region during the 1860s and 1870s, and the Hayden Surveys.
Outstanding single views include the party of Zuni group led to the sea by Frank Hamilton Cushing; Episcopal Church Rectory and School Building, Yankton Agency; Matilda Coxe Stevenson and a companion taking a photographs of a Zuni ceremony; John Moran sketching at Acoma; Ben H. Gurnsey's studio with Indian patrons; Quapaw Mission; baptism of a group of Paiutes at Coeur d'Alene Mission; court-martial commission involved in the trial of Colonel Joseph J. Reynolds, 1877; President Harding at Sitka, Alaska; Walter Hough at Hopi in 1902; and Mrs. Jesse Walter Fewkes at Hopi in 1897.
George V. Allen was an attorney in Lawrence, Kansas and an early member of the National Stereoscope Association. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Allen made an extensive collection of photographs of the American West, mostly in stereographs, but also including cartes-de-visite and other styles of mounted prints, photogravures, lantern slides, autochromes, and glass negatives.
Copies of photogaphs selected from the George Eastman House collection by Bureau of American Ethnology archivist Margaret Blaker in 1962. Many of the photographs are individual or group portraits of American Indians and some highlight pottery, baskets, and cradleboards. There are also images of American Indian dwellings, including tipis and hogans; pueblos; dances; and an encampment during the Modoc War and Plains Indian prisoners at Fort Marion, Florida (1870s).
Expedition photos in the collection were made on T. O. Selfridgeʹs Darien Expedition (1870-1871), the Wheeler surveys (1871-1874), and the Hayden Geological Survey (1871). The collection also includes portraits of Frederick Douglass, Sitting Bull, and John A. Logan; and images from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; Company F of New York's 140th Volunteer Infantry; and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot R79
Copy negatives made by George Eastman House, 1962.
Copy prints made by the Smithsonian, 1962-1963.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds vintage prints for many of the photographs copied in this collection, including in Photo lot 4501, Photo Lot 4605, and Photo Lot 90-1.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
The images were acquired for reference purposes and cannot be reproduced. Copies may be obtained from George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film.