Photographs made by Bill Groethe depicting a reunion of survivors of the Battle of Little Big Horn at Custer State Park, South Dakota, on September 2, 1948. The survivors depicted include Little Warrior, Pemmican, Little Soldier, Dewey Beard, High Eagle, Iron Hawk, Comes Again, and Nicholas Black Elk. John Sitting Bull, though not a survivor himself, was present to represent Sitting Bull, his adoptive father.
William M. Groethe (b. 1923) is a professional photographer from Rapid City, South Dakota, known for his photographs of Mount Rushmore and his portrait of the last survivors of the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn. Mentored by fellow Rapid City photographers Carl Rise and Bert Bell, Groethe was the only professional photographer in attendance at the reunion of the Battle of the Little Big Horn survivors. Both Rapid City and the State of South Dakota declared September 2, 2009 as William M. Groethe Day in honor of the 61st anniversary of the Little Bighorn photo.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 92-14
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Groethe's photograph, entitled "Lakota Moon of the Longest Night," held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 2002-02.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Relate to the Dakota Indians of Pine Ridge and Rosebud Agencies, and to the Battle of Wounded Knee (December 29, 1890), including views of the battlefield, January, 1891.
"The Nebraska State Historical Society, 1500 R. Street, Lincoln 8, Nebraska (James C. Olson, Supt.), has a collection of pictures relating to the Battle of Wounded Knee, fought in 1890. Included in the group of about 50 photographs are scenes before and following the battle, photographs of Indians, and related subjects. There are a few glass plate negatives by G. E. Trager, and the remainder of the collection consists of old photoprints or copies thereof." -- from Eye to Eye (Graphic Hitory Soc. Of America)-1954- 106. This entry from Eye to Eye, 1954 may refer to the same collection as Bureau of American Ethnology Catalog Number 4464. (Negative Numbers 3200-b-1--15) Some of these were published by Schmitt and Brown ("Fighting Indians of the West," 1948) from the Bureau of American Ethnology copy negatives and attributed to Trager as the photographer. However, the prints in the Bureau of American Ethnology apparently bear no signature or other mark attributing them to Trager. Possibly Schmitt and Brown knew him to be the photographer from other research they had done. It remains to check this collection with the Nebraska Historical Society to see if it is the same as theirs. The prints received from Mr Johnson have evidently been copied many times.
Contents: Catalog Number 4464 Dakota (1) Description: Burial of the dead after the Battle of Wounded Knee Photographer: Northwestern Photo Co. Date: December 29, 1890 (copyright 1/1/91) Negative Number 3200-b-7. (2) Medicine Man, dead in the snow Northwestern Photo Co copyright 1/1/91 3200-b-8. (3) Big Foot, dead in the snow Northwestern Photo Co copyright 1/1/91 3200-b-2 and 55,018. (4) Wounded Knee Battlefield, looking north Northwestern Photo Co copyright 1891 3200-b-10. (5) Wounded Knee Battlefield, looking south-west Northwestern Photo Co ? 1891 47,685. (6) Wounded Knee Battlefield Northwestern Photo Co ? 1891. (7) General Carr's camp at Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co ? 1891. (8) Hostile Indian camp at the Mission near Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (9) "Scene at the battlefield." Northwest Photo Co 1891 3200-b-14. (10) Catholic Mission, 9 miles north of Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (11) Rosebud and Sioux Indians War Dance at Pine Ridge Agency, December 25, 1890 Northwestern Photo Co ? 12/25, 1890. (12) Kicking Bear, Brule Dakota Northwestern Photo Co. (13) Stinking Bear, a leader of the friendly Sioux Indians, Pine Ridge Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (14) Standing Elk (left) and Black Horse (right) Northwestern Photo Co 1891.
Catalog Number 4464 Dakota: (15) Description: Left to right: Two Strike, Crow Dog, High Hawk Photographer: Northwestern Photo Co Date: 1891 Negative Number: 42,827. (16) Left to right: J. M. McDonough, Good Lance, Big Talk, Frank Gerard (chief of scouts), Kicking Bear, Two Strike, Major Burke Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (17) Grand Council between friendly and hostile Indian chiefs at Pine Ridge Agency, January 17, 1891. Chief Kicking Bear talking Northwestern Photo Co January 17, 1891. (18) Indians at camp, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891 3200-b-12. (19) Beef Issue, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (20) Hospital, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891 (21) Captain Taylor and his Indian Scouts on drill, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co 1891. (22) Officers of the 7th Cavalry, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co Date Unknown. (23) Officers of the 9th Cavalry, Pine Ridge Agency Northwestern Photo Co. [1891 ?] (24) Pine Ridge Agency from the north. (not clear) 1891. (25) Wounded Knee battlefield 1891. (26) Wounged Knee battlefield 3200-b-9. (27) "Scaffold on which the first Indian was hanged. Deadwood, South Dakota." (28) Sitting Bull R. L. Kelly, Pierre, South Dakota 47,686-A. (29) Dakota man, 3/4 length L. W. Stilwell ? (30) Joe Bush L. W. Stilwell, Deadwood, South Dakota. (31) Two men, standing L. W. Stilwell? (32) War Bonnet L. W. Stilwell. (33) Bear Pipe L. W. Stilwell. (34) Ellis [?] Standing Bear L. W. Stilwell (35) Mother of Messiah "watching Ghost Dance at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1891"- A. G. Johnson George W. Scott, Fort Yates, North Dakota 1891. (36) Two men standing in front of covered wagon. (37) Four men standing in front of covered wagon. (38) Stinking Bear and Paint His Horse. (39) Row of men on horseback. (40) Omaha Dance, Rosebud Agency W. R. Cross, Hot Springs, South Dakota 1891 55,634. (41) Omaha Dance, Rosebud Agency W. R. Cross, Hot Springs, South Dakota. (42) Row of Indians in front of a reviewing stand. (43) Row of Indians sitting on ground; white man on horse behind them. (44) "Sioux Indians in town July 4, hitting a dime at distance 100 ft." (45) Three "Sioux Indians coming to town."
Catalog Number 4464 Dakota:(46) Description: Hospital, Pine Ridge Agency Photographer Unknown Date: 1891. (47) Funeral of an Indian policeman 1891. (48) Scaffold burials, Yankton Agency, Dakota Territory W. R. Cross. (49) Large group of men on horseback. (50) "U. S. Cavalry returning after Battle of Wounded Knee, S. D., 1891." (51) "U. S. Army Officers Pine Ridge, S. D. 1891." 3200-b-13. (52) Officers with Indian fighters, Pine Ridge Agency 1891. (53) Officers of 7th Cavalry, Pine Ridge. (54) "Soldiers of Wounded Knee, 1891." (55) "Gathering up the dead at the Battle of Wounded Knee, S. D." 1891 47,685-B.
Photographs of Carlisle by J. N. Choate, three Rosebud Agency photographs by J. A. Anderson, the rest unidentified as to photographer. The photographs probably date between 1880 and 1895.
Catalog Number 4574: Letter of 3/21/58 from Richard A. Pohrt (donor): "...eleven photographs from the Indian School at Carlisle. Pa. These I am certain were all taken by J. N. Choates [Choate], a photographer who had a studio at 21 West Main St., Carlisle, Pa." (1) Carlisle Indian School "The dining hall, Indian Training School" (Original Number 45) Photographer: J. H. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (2) Carlisle Indian School "Sheldon Jackson, John Shields and Harvey Townsend, Pueblos." (Original Number 70) J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (3) Carlisle Indian School "Pine Ridge Boys" (Original Number 155) (caption written by hand) J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (4) Carlisle Indian School "After School; Indian Training School, Carlisle, Pa." (written by hand). (Original Number 163) J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (5) Carlisle Indian School Group of students, presumably of Carlisle School. Labeled on back (by hand) as follows: "No. 1 White Horse Little Bull "No. 2 Calls Horse Looking "No. 3 Brule Iron Eagle Feather "No 4 Stella Berht "No. 5 Rosa White Thunder "No 6 Irene Horse Looking "No 7 Laura Good Nation Compliments of Capt. Pratt, E." J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (?) (6) Carlisle Indian School Group of girls, presumably students at Carlisle School. Labled by hand as follows; left to right, row 1 (kneeling) Emma Hand, Rosa White Bear (dead), Isabella Two Dogs, Louisa Galiego (Pine Ridge). Row 2, (sitting) Carrie Black Bear, Susan Wilson (S sister [?]), Charlotte Four Horn, Esther Side [?] Bear. Row 3 (standing) Katie White Birch, Adelia Low, Victoria Standing Bear, Martha Bordeaux [?], Mose Dion [?]. J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (?). (7) Carlisle Indian School Group of boys, presumably students at Carlisle School. J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (?). (8) "Girl's Quarters, Carlisle Barracks" [Choate Broadside, No 78?] J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (?). (9) "School Rooms, Carlisle Barracks." [Choate broadside, No. 80 ?].
Catalog Number 4574: (10) Carlisle Indian School "Cap't Pratt's House and Chapel." [Choate broadside, No. 82 ?] Captain Pratt near steps. J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (11) Carlisle Indian School (?) "Band of Indian Boys at the Government School, Washington, D. C." ("Popular Series"). Stereoscopic view. Probably copy of Choate No. 76, erroneously labeled. [See Choate broadside, B.A.E. Catalog Number 4241.] J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa (?) (See R. A. Pohrt correspondence, 9/24/59). (12) Tribe: Dakota (Oglalla ?) "High Hawk." Resembles closely the man identified as High Hawk in Signal Corps Photograph at National Archives (No. 101549). Only slight resemblance to S. I. Negative 42,827. He must have been considerably older when the latter was taken if they are the same person. J. N. Choate, Carlisle, Pa. (13) Dakota:Agency Personnel, various agencies Seated left to right: Reverend William J. Cleveland (Episcopal missionary and sometime agent at Rosebud-- See Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 5, page 20 for biography), Captain Richard Henry Pratt (Chairman), and Judge John V. Wright of Tennessee, -- the three composed the 2nd commission to the Sioux, 1888. (For account of the commission see Eastman, "Pratt, the Redman's Moses," University of Oklahoma Press, 1935). (Identified from BAE Negative Number "Portraits 13-b"). No date, but because of the 3 main figures, suggests ca. 1888. Standing. left to right: , (appears third from left in S. I. Negative 43,563-- identified more clearly in original prints of same group National Archives-- N. A. Numbers 86-1, 86-2, 87), Col. H. D. Gallagher, Agent Pine Ridge (same ident. source), Major W. W. Anderson, agent at Crow Creek and Lower Brule; for a Mark Wells see Negative 3307-c, Dr C. E. McChesney, agent at Cheyenne River Agency (Number 14, in row 5.), Major James McLaughlin, Agent Standing Rock Reservation, Col. L. F. Spence, Agent Rosebud Agency (identified from S. I. Negative 43,563). No date, but because of the 3 main figures, suggests ca. 1888.
Catalog Number 4574: (14) Dakota: Agency Personnel Seated: Col. L. F. Spence, Agent at Rosebud, (identified from S. I. Negative 43,563) Standing: unidentified, but compare with 4574: (28), below. (15) Dakota: Pine Ridge Agency Labeled in pencil, "Agent's Dwelling, Pine Ridge Agency, D. T." (Verified by numerous views of the Agency in the National Archives). Two Indian Policemen on porch. Water tower behind house. (16) Dakota: Pine Ridge Agency ? Distant view of Agency, almost certainly Pine Ridge (compare with original prints catalog Number 4464. "Pine Ridge Agency from the North in 1891"). Print marked in pencil, "Fort Niobrara, Nebraska Territory"-- erroneous ? Northwestern Photographic Co, Chadron, Nebraska (17) Dakota: Rosebud Agency "No. 4 St Francis' Mission, Rosebud Agency, S. D., West Side." Church and school, one wing in process of being built. Print not marked. Received in package marked by donor, "J. A. Anderson." (18) Dakota: Rosebud Agency "No 7. Birds-eye view of St Francis Mission. Rosebud Agency, S. D." Print not marked. Received in package marked by donor,"J. A. Anderson." (19) Dakota: Rosebud Agency "No 8. Fathers and Brothers of St Francis Mission. Rosebud Agency, S. D." J. A. Anderson, Rosebud Agency, S. D. (20) Dakota: Rosebud Agency View of Rosebud Agency, and garden, from the South (if 17 above correct). Must have been taken prior to the Anderson photograph, since the new wing is not in evidence. (Identified from 17 and 18.) (21) Dakota: Rosebud Agency Nuns with large group of students in school uniforms, (St Francis Mission, Rosebud Agency ?) Little white girl in front row looks like one in 4574: (32) below, and possibly same as in 4574: (31).
Catalog Number 4574 (22) Dakota: Rosebud Agency "View at Rosebud Agency. May 8th 1892." This series of "row" houses corresponds, perhaps, to ones in J. A. Anderson's Among the Sioux, "A typical Indian Agency" (BAE temporary 77). Note "Police Station " sign. 1892. (23) Dakota: Rosebud Agency Agent's house, Rosebud Agency (identified from Negative Number 43,791-B). Standing in front, left to right: , , Col. L. F. Spence, Agent (identified from S, I, Negative 43,563 and National Archives' prints of same group), , , . (24) Boy on horse in front of agent's dwelling, Rosebud Agency. (House, and thus agency, identified from S. I. Negative 43,791-B and others). (25) Dakota: Rosebud Agency Group of Indian Police, civilian men, women, and children around flag pole in front of agent's house (identified from S. I. Negative 43,791-B), Rosebud Agency. Reverend William J. Cleveland (with whiskers and derby) in back row, 2nd to right of flagpole. (Indentified from BAE Negative Number "Portraits 13-b.") (26) Dakota: Rosebud Agency Distant view of agent's dwelling and unidentified home and/or school to the left of it. Copy in negative catalog made from another original print. See Negative Number 43,791-C.
Catalog Number 4574: (27) Dakota: Rosebud Agency Unidentified home and/or school to left of agent's dwelling (see 4574:(26) above, then 43,791-B), large group of men in front of building. Possibly Reverend William J. Cleveland, (note whiskers) on porch, 3rd from right. (28) Dakota: Rosebud Agency (?) Agency personnel (?), including Indian police. 4th from left, front row: Col. L. F. Spence, Agent at Rosebud (identified from S. I. Negative 43,563). 5th from left, front row: same as man on right in 4574: (14) (?). 2nd from left, 2nd row: same as man on left in 4574: (14) (?). 2nd from right, 2nd row: Thomas Flood, Interpreter (identified from S. I. Negative 43,563). Indentification as Rosebud Agency rests primarily upon the presence of Spence. See Negative Number 45,793-B. (29) Dakota: Rosebud Agency (?) Large building, with chapel, set in open area. Built 1885 (date on front gable). In front are 5 women (one on horse) 3 children, three men; Rev. William J. Cleveland at extreme left (identified from BAE Negative Number "Portraits" 13-b). May be Saint Mary's Mission Boarding School for Sioux Boys and Girls, 12 miles from Rosebud Agency, on Antelope Creek, Dakota Territory, for the following reasons: 1. The building is a self-contained unit--including a chapel--and there are no other buildings in view. 2. The building is dated 1885. Pilling, in Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 5, 1887 states that Cleveland had at that time been principal of Saint Mary's for 2 years, which fits neatly with the 1885 date. (30) Dakota: Rosebud Agency (?) Side view of same building as in 4574: (29). Several women and children in foreground. Reverend William J. Cleveland holding horses (identified from BAE Negative Number "Portraits" 13-b), and one other man. See 4574:(29) above.
Catalog Number 4574: The following photographs (4574: (31-39)), along with a group of similar photographs in the National Archives, seem to establish a consistent pattern in the location and structure of agency school facilities. In general, the schools were small frame buildings, apparently widely scattered over the agencies, each with a small frame house for the teaching couple and family. (31) Dakota: Agency Unidentified Frame school (?) building. In foreground, group of students with teachers (man and woman--and their little girl ?), and Indian police. (32) Dakota: Agency Unidentified Group of students with teachers (man and woman--and their child) in front of frame school (?) house. Also an Indian Policeman. (33) Dakota: Agency unidentified Group of students with teachers (man and woman) and Indian Police in front of frame school (?) house. White man on right appears to be identical with the first man on left in S. I. Negative 43,563, Sioux delegation to Washington, 1888. (34) Dakota: Agency unidentified Group of students with teachers (man and woman) in front of frame school (?) house. Also an Indian Policeman. (35) Dakota: Agency unidentified Frame school (?) building. In foreground a group of students with teacher(s). (36) Dakota: Agency unidentified Frame school (?) with group of students and teacher in the foreground. The teacher is the same as in 4574:(36), as are many of the pupils. (37) Dakota: Agency unidentified Teachers (and their child) with group of students in front of frame school building. (See 4574: (38) for identity as school.) (38) Dakota: Agency unidentified School building (and teachers' dwelling ?) with man, woman, and child (same ones as in 4574: (37) above) in front, and two Indian men at side. 2 duplicate prints.
Catalog Number 4574: (39) Dakota: Agency unidentified Teacher's dwelling-schoolhouse complex with one or two scattered cabins in the foreground. Follows what appears to be the typical pattern of small, widely scattered schools. (40) Dakota: Agency unidentified Frame building. Function ? Odd door on back and man standing in doorway suggest this might be an exterior view of 4574: (41). (41) Dakota: Agency Unidentified Pine Ridge (?) or Rosebud (?) Slaughter house (?), interior view, with three men, one an Indian. One man looks like Col. H. D. Gallagher, Pine Ridge Agent. But the print was among a group of views mainly from Rosebud Agency. (42) Dakota: Agency Unidentified Large group of uniformed Indian Police on horseback in front of frame buildings. Agency might be: 1. Standing Rock ? Man front row, left looks like Red Tomahawk. 2. Pine Ridge ? But the men aren't posed in same area of agency where other PR Police pictures were taken. Also the men in this picture have more uniform uniforms than are shown in PR pictures. (See Original Prints, "temporary" Number 29, and Catalog Number 4544: (59, 60).) 3. Rosebud ? (43) Dakota: Agency Unidentified Indian Police, same uniform, same agency, same building, as 4574: (42). Also additional evidence for identifying Agency as Standing Rock: compare officers to those in BAE Negative Number 3711-e. See Negative Number 45,793. (44) Dakota Badlands scenery. "In general it seems to resemble the badlands of southwestern South Dakota not far distant from Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations."--Information from John C. Ewers, 4/5/60.
Biographical / Historical:
Pohrt states, "I believe they were taken about 1890. Some are identified and many are not, but I have reason to believe that the majority were taken on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota. They are of school children, Indian Police, Agency buildings, etc." See correspondence in Smithsonian Institution-Bureau of American Ethnology files.
NAA MS 4574
Filed: Original Prints: Carlisle Indian School; Dakota.
Studio group portrait of Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux) Chiefs and delegates. They are sitting from left to right: Black Bear, Little Wound, Black Bird, High Hawk, and Conquering Bear; standing from left to right: Hard Heart, Lone Bear, Jack Red Cloud, Shot in the Eye, and Last Horse. The men are dressed in traditional clothing including breastbone plates and beaded hide shirts. Shot in the Eye wears goggle-type eyewear. Photographed by Herman Heyn and James Matzen at the Greater America Exposition in Omaha in 1899.
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Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Byron Harvey, III Collection of Exposition and Portrait photographs, P#####; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.