The bulk of the collection consists of portraits of identified Native Americans and some government officials and interpreters. It includes cabinet cards, other mounted prints, newspaper articles, illustrations, and a photographic postcard. Depicted individuals include American Horse, Oglala; Black Hawk, Sauk; Bob Tail, Cheyenne; Crowfoot, Hunkpapa; Gaul, Hunkpapa; Geronimo, Chiricahua; John Grass, Teton; Chief Joseph, Nez Perce; Little Wound, Oglala; Medicine Bull, Hunkpapa; Osceola, Seminole; Ouray, Ute; Litte Raven, Arapaho; Plenty Coups, Crow; Pocahontas, Powhatan; Rain in the Face, Hunkpapa; Red Cloud, Oglala; Red Iron, Dakota; Short Man, Piegan; Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa; Standing On Prairie, Siouan; Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant), Mohawk; Two Guns White Calf, Piegan; Two Moon, Cheyenne; and Washakie, Shoshoni.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 87-2P
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 87-2P, United States National Museum Department of Anthropology photograph collection relating to Native Americans, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
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.
1,195 Prints (albumen, silver gelatin, and platinum)
Scope and Contents note:
Photographs of geologic features and the natural environment of the American West, Alaska, and Mexico, most of which were created during government surveys and the expansion of railroads during the 1800s. There are also photographs collected and made by individuals who worked or traveled in the west. Depicted locales include Alaska, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming, and there are some additional images of artifacts, artwork, and portraits. Photographers represented include William Henry Jackson, John K. Hillers, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, E. O. Beaman, James Fennemore, William Bell, and other professional and amateur photographers.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 37
Varying Form of Title:
Scenic Views of North America
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Charles Savage photographs previously filed in Photo Lot 37 have been relocated to National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 156.
Bourne & May photographs previously filed in Photo Lot 37 have been relocated to National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 159.
The National Anthropological Archives holds additional photographs by photographers or from accessions represented in this collection in Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 40, and other photo lots.
See others in:
Photographs of North American geology and scenery, 1871-1912
The collection brings together images by well-known Western photographers such as A.F. Randall, John Grabill, C.S. Fly, Stanley Morrow, Ben Wittick and John Choate. Primarily images of famous Indian leaders, as well as other portraits and scenes.
Negatives: organized in individual sleeves; arranged by negative number
Prints: organized in folders; arranged by print number
General Nelson A. Miles fought for the Union in some of the Civil War's most crucial battles, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Appomatox campaign. Wounded four times, he rose in rank to become a major general of volunteers and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his personal bravery at Chancellorsville. After the Civil War, Miles played a leading role in nearly every phase of the army's campaign against the tribes of the Great Plains. Three of the greatest Indian leaders---Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Geronimo---surrendered to him. In 1874-1875, he was a field commander in the force that defeated the Kiowa, Comanche and Southern Cheyenne along the Red River. In 1876-1877, he led the winter campaign that scoured the northern Plains after Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn, forcing the Lakota and their allies onto reservations. Then, in the winter of 1877, he drove his troops on a forced march across Montana to intercept the Nez Percé band led by Chief Joseph that had eluded or defeated every unit sent against it over the course of a 1,500 mile retreat from Oregon to the Canadian border.
The 1890 Ghost Dance "uprising" on the Lakota reservations brought Miles back into the field once again. In an effort to restore peace throughout the area, Miles directed troop movements that inadvertently panicked many Lakota bands into leaving their reservations and led both to Sitting Bull's death and to the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee. Miles reacted to these developments by working aggressively to implement his longstanding belief that the Lakota should be forcibly disarmed and placed under military control. In his later years, Miles commanded the troops that put down the Pullman strike riots in 1894, and was commander of the army during the Spanish-American War. He retired from service in 1903, confirmed in his belief that graduates of West Point had an unfair advantage in promotion and were on the whole less capable of command than those who rose through the ranks as he had.
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Copyright: National Museum of the American Indian
General Nelson A. Miles collection, 1869-1892, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number).