Lot of 36 CDVs housed in a period album with inked identifications on most pages. 24 are by Daniel S. Mitchell, 15 with his Cheyenne, WY studio backmark, the others backed the same way but without the Mitchell marking. Seven by Hillers, on his yellow or green mounts lacking an imprint, plus 4 CDVs by unknown studios and one tintype of a white man and three Indian women. Two of the cartes have a name and address on verso, which census records identify as a cattle rancher in Nebraska.
Daniel S. Mitchell (1838-1929) spent nearly his entire life involved in photography, starting as a daguerreotypist's assistant when he was only nine years old. After working at several Northeastern galleries, he left his home and family in Boston to photograph the West in 1874. Mitchell initially established a gallery in Cheyenne but often traveled to photograph the Indians, miners, soldiers, railroads, and landscapes of the Great Plains and Black Hills. He moved his studio from Wyoming to South Dakota to Nebraska to Illinois to Oklahoma, compiling an impressive catalog of Western views, of which the photos seen here are arguably the most important. They were taken at Red Cloud Agency in 1877 and show notable Sioux chiefs and warriors, most of which present at the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty and the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Specifically, and in the order they are placed in the album, the subjects include: Friday, Northern Arapaho, part of the Washington delegation, 1877; Black Coal, Northern Arapahoe, present at Fort Laramie in 1868, appointed their leader at Red Cloud Agency ca 1871, lobbied for Wyoming lands as part of the Washington delegation, led his tribe there the next year, and considered their representative by the U.S. Gov't until his death in 1893; Sharp Nose, Northern Arapahoe, part of the Washington delegation, 1877, where he was often photographed with Friday and Black Coal; Washington; Red Cloud (1822-1909), Oglala Lakota, their chief 1868-1909, one of the few warrior chiefs to lead his men to decisive victory over the U.S., but later recognized the eventual futility of armed opposition, attempted to negotiate peacefully, and facilitated his people's transition to reservation life; American Horse (1840-1908) Oglala Lakota, made chief in 1868, joined Red Cloud in 1871, appointed representative of Bear People to the U.S. Gov't in 1881, negotiated peace with Spotted Elk and the Ghost Dance followers who were considering war, traveled to Washington and secured improved provisions in 1891, and toured with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; Little Big Man (Charging Bear) Oglala Lakota, fought under Crazy Horse at Little Bighorn, then later switched allegiance and assisted in his murder; Red Shirt, Oglala Lakota, one of the last living witnesses to Little Bighorn, able to attend the 75th anniversary ceremony in 1951. Young Man Afraid of His Horse (1830-1900), Oglala Sioux chief, nephew of Red Cloud and one of his most trusted lieutenants, first president of the Pine Ridge Indian Council and a frequent representative to the United States government; No Flesh, Brule Lakota, captured one of the cavalry standards at Little Bighorn; Little Wound (1835-1899), Oglala Lakota, sergeant of Red Cloud but later became his political enemy and a promulgator of the Ghost Dance movement; Black Bear, Oglala Lakota, present at Little Bighorn; He Dog (1840-1936), Oglala Lakota, nephew of Red Cloud, fought at Little Bighorn, surrendered with Crazy Horse in 1877, joined the delegation to Washington, then fled to Canada with Sitting Bull, eventually surrendering again and serving as a judge at Pine Ridge; Three Bears; White Horse; Stands First, Oglala Lakota, captured General Custer's flag; The Fisher; Long Buffalo; Pawnee Killer, Oglala Lakota, present at Little Bighorn, later took his band to Red Cloud Agency; High Bear; a Gila Apache; Sleepy Jim; Jose; Apache Jack; Apache Bill; Spotted Horse; Tonto Apache; Shy Fancy; Little Thunder; and Spotted Tail.
Condition: Most Mitchell CDVs with about 1/8 in. trimmed off the bottom, else excellent. Hillers' with paper loss on verso, else very good.