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.
Photographs made during Matilda Coxe Stevenson's field studies among Southwest Indians, particularly at Zuni. Images primarily document pueblos, people, ceremonies, and daily activities, as well as some photographs of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and ranches, probably those belonging to Stevenson or her friends. The collection includes photographs by William Henry Cobb and Wittick & Russell, as well as Stevenson's assistant May S. Clark and "Mr. Gray," a photographer that Stevenson hired as an assistant.
Matilda Coxe Stevenson (1849-1915; though her birth year is often erroneously listed as 1850) was the first woman to study the American Southwest and the first (and for a long time the only) female anthropologist hired by the US government. Born Matilda Coxe Evans in 1849 in San Augustine, Texas, Stevenson was brought to Washington, D.C., as an infant. She was educated at Miss Anable's English, French, and German School in Philadelphia and through private studies with her father and Dr. William M. Mew of the Army Medical Museum. In 1872 she married James Stevenson, a geologist with the US Geological Survey of the Territories. From 1872-1878, Matilda joined James on Ferdinand V. Hayden's geological surveys to Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah, and assisted him by compiling geological data. When the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) was created in 1879, Matilda Stevenson was appointed "volunteer coadjutor [sic] in ethnology" and she went with James on his BAE expeditions to the Southwest.
After James Stevenson's death in 1888, BAE Director John Wesley Powell hired Matilda Stevenson to organize her husband's notes. In 1889, Stevenson became regular BAE staff. From 1890 to 1907, Stevenson did substantial individual fieldwork at Zuni and published "The Zuni Indians: Their Mythology, Esoteric Fraternities, and Ceremonies" in the Bureau of American Ethnology's Twenty-Third Annual Report (1901-2). Starting in 1904, Stevenson conducted comparative studies at Zia, Jemez, San Juan, Cochiti, Nambe, Picarus, Tesuque, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, and Taos. In 1907 she purchased a ranch (Ton'yo) near San Ildefonso, which became her base for fieldwork. Stevenson died in Maryland on June 24, 1915.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 23
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Stevenson photographs previously filed in BAE number 4325, MS 4624, MS 4717, Photo Lot 14, and Photo Lot 33 have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 23. These photographs were also made by Stevenson and form part of this collection.
Additional glass negatives made by Stevenson are held in the National Anthropological Archives in the BAE historical negatives.
The National Anthropological Archives holds Matilda Coxe Stevenson's papers in MS 4689.
Photographic images and portraits of Stevenson are in the National Anthropological Archives in the following collections: Photo Lot 33, Photo Lot 70, Photo Lot 89-19, and Photo Lot 90-1.
Additional photographs of We'wha, probably commissioned by Stevenson at a studio in Washington, D.C., are in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 2004-03.