Lot 293    

Go-Won-Go Mohawk, Indian Princess & Wild West Show Performer, Personal Knife, Medal, & Photographs
6/21/2012 - American History, Including the Civil War
Lot includes Go-Won-Go Mohawk's knife with sheath; bronze presentation medallion; and 7 photographs. 

Go-Won-Go Mohawk (1860-1924), also known as Caroline, was born on August 11, 1860 on the reservation in Gowanda, Cattaraugus County, New York, to chief and medicine man Dr. Alan Mohawk, and moved to Green, New York, at age one, living there until the death of her father in 1869. In 1870, Go-Won-Go moved with her mother, Lydia Hale Mohawk, to Painesville, Ohio, where she continued her education. Go-Won-Go was a self-proclaimed "Indian Princess" with many talents. In addition to being a terrific athlete and sportswoman, Go-Won-Go was considered the first Indian actress to perform on the American stage. During the early 20th century, the two primary plays she starred in were "The Indian Mail Carrier," which she wrote and produced, and Lincoln Carter's "The Flaming Arrow."

According to her own authority, she briefly appeared with Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok in Cody's Wild West Show, where her role required a masterful display of horsemanship, riding two horses at once while standing on their backs. Go-Won-Go was purportedly given the bronze medal of Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill in profile, included with this grouping, by Cody himself in remembrance of this performance. The medal measures approx. 1.5 in. in diameter. Go-Won-Go was also an advocate of Native American Rights and was given a pair of white horses by President Harding in recognition of her efforts for this cause. 

Go-Won-Go married Captain Charlie Charles (1835-1926), a white gentleman, in Paterson, New Jersey on May 20, 1889. Charles was an ex-Army officer and former actor who became her stage manager on the Vaudeville Circuit. Charles had also performed with Buffalo Bill following the Indian Wars. Go-Won-Go owned a large home in Edgewater, New Jersey, which was close in proximity to the home and business of the consignor's grandfather, Lorentz Kleiser. Her chauffeur was also the gardener to Mr. Kleiser. Go-Won-Go kept her white stallions at this home in Edgewater, and when they passed, the stallions were buried with an elaborate Indian ceremony in the orchard behind the home of the consignor's grandfather. 

A highlight of this fine lot is Go-Won-Go's knife and sheath, measuring 9 in. long. The knife is a true western American blade, with a hilt that is fastened with copper rivets cut from telegraph wire. The knife, along with the bronze medal, were given to the consignor's grandmother, Mrs. Lucy Kleiser, in recognition of her devoted work with the Camp Fire Girls, which incorporated much Native American lore into its activities. The knife and medal have since descended in the family to the current owner, who was told by his relatives that the knife was an acting prop with a lead blade. However, he later discovered that the blade was made of the finest steel.

Accompanying the knife and medal are 5 photographs of Go-Won-Go, including a cabinet card of her dramatically posed with her knife, and two additional cabinet photographs of Go-Won-Go, one by Wood of New York, the other by Rhoads of Philadelphia. In addition, the lot features 2 large format photographs, one with applied paper label that reads Gowongo Mohawk by a memorial wreath of her deceased lover, 6 x 8 in., mounted,  the other a large photo postcard of Go-Won-Go in her later years, 8 x 10 in. A large photo postcard of her manager and companion, Captain Charley Charles is included with the lot, as well as a souvenir cabinet photograph of Buffalo Bill by Stacy of Brooklyn, New York. 

Go-Won-Go continued to tour and perform until her health failed in 1924. She died in Edgewater, New Jersey at the age of 58. The items featured in this lot provide a unique glimpse at her many accomplishments as a performer. 
Sold: $0.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Confederate John J. Burroughs, 6th Virginia & 34th Tennessee Infantries, Ambrotype, Plus
Lot # 13 - Confederate John J. Burroughs, 6th Virginia & 34th Tennessee Infantries, Ambrotype, Plus
Lot of 4, including ninth plate ambrotype bust view of John J. Burroughs, plus 3 post-war views. John “Captain Jack” J. Burroughs, born April 22, 1841 in Norfolk, Virginia and attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and became a lawyer. At the outbreak of th... > Item Details
Charles J. Belden Photograph of Cowboys on Horseback
Lot # 268 - Charles J. Belden Photograph of Cowboys on Horseback
Silver gelatin photograph, unmarked, but by Charles Belden, capturing two cowboys on horseback looking upon a Wyoming mountain landscape.  Shot from inside a stone porch or veranda, which serves to nicely frame the shot.  Ca 1910s-1940s, 16 x 20 in. Charles J. Belden (1888-1963) was bor... > Item Details
Rare Topographic Civil War Map, <i>Birds Eye View of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia</i>
Lot # 59 - Rare Topographic Civil War Map, Birds Eye View of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia
22 x 29.75 in. map, mounted on linen and attached to wooden hanging bar. The title The Seat of War is printed in the upper margin, and Birds Eye View of Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia printed in lower margin. Undated, but produced in 1861. Drawn and lithographed by J. Schedler and p... > Item Details
Gentleman Wearing Large Blaine Campaign Ribbon, Quarter Plate Tintype
Lot # 151 - Gentleman Wearing Large Blaine Campaign Ribbon, Quarter Plate Tintype
Quarter plate tintype of a bearded gentleman wearing a large James G. Blaine ribbon badge. This is the only portrait of a Blaine supporter we have seen that is larger than a sixth plate, indicating the rarity of this particular size. A high quality studio photograph in mint condition. Uncased. > Item Details
D.B. Chase  Boudoir Photographs of the Southwest
Lot # 221 - D.B. Chase Boudoir Photographs of the Southwest
Lot of 8 albumen boudoir photographs, all with titles and credit in the negative and D.B. Chase's full card Santa Fe, New Mexico imprint on verso, including two with recto imprints as well.  Titles are: No. 44. Pueblo Indian Woman Burning Pottery; 75. Tesuque Indians Tenting on the Mountain... > Item Details
Massachusetts Minute Men of 1861 Identified Medal, Plus ID Tags of W.F. Parker, 5th Mass. Vols.
Lot # 68 - Massachusetts Minute Men of 1861 Identified Medal, Plus ID Tags of W.F. Parker, 5th Mass. Vols.
A related group of nine items belonging to Private Warren F. Parker, Co. I, 5th Massachusetts Infantry, including his exclusive Minute Man medal, two wartime ID tags, four cuff-size eagle buttons, a small brass eagle pin, and a printed program dated April 15, 1902, celebrating the Forty-First Anniv... > Item Details
James Smith, Signer of Declaration of Independence, ALS, 1769
Lot # 309 - James Smith, Signer of Declaration of Independence, ALS, 1769
James Smith (1719-1806). Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania (1776-1778) and signer of the Declaration of independence. ALS, 1p, on laid paper with royal watermark, September 22, 1769, at York (PA), addressed to Jasper Yeats, Esq., of Lancaster, regarding a civil legal matter. ... > Item Details
Chief Spotted Tail Photograph by D.F. Barry
Lot # 183 - Chief Spotted Tail Photograph by D.F. Barry
Silver gelatin photograph of Brule Sioux Chief Spotted Tail, 7.75 x 10 in., mounted under cardstock, 10.75 x 16 in., photograph and mount include Barry's blindstamp, plus cardstock mount's verso features printed paper stamp advertising Barry's Superior, Wisconsin studio, and an attached,... > Item Details
Salesman's Book of Fruit and Flower Color Plates
Lot # 162 - Salesman's Book of Fruit and Flower Color Plates
Some refer to these as Nurserymen's books, but this one folds into thirds and slips into a 7.25 x 10 in. leather case - clearly for travel. The 5.25 x 8.5 in. plates are glued back to back with a ribbon between them in groups of 3. The leather front has gilt Fruit & Ornamental Foliage. The m... > Item Details
J.N. Choate Cabinet Cards of American Indian Chiefs
Lot # 190 - J.N. Choate Cabinet Cards of American Indian Chiefs
Lot of 3 cabinet photographs, each with J.N. Choate's Carlisle, PA backmark, including the following studio portraits: Ouray and Wife Chipeta / Utes, as identified on mount below image; Son of the Star with Sioux scalp on a pole which he himself took, as identified on verso; and Poor Wolf From F... > Item Details
Rare Group of Maine Regiment Ribbons, Plus
Lot # 84 - Rare Group of Maine Regiment Ribbons, Plus
Lot of 15 pieces framed together, including: ribbon from First Maine Heavy Artillery Annual Reunion at Vinalhaven, 1883, with cello battle scene hanger; Third Maine Regiment Association ribbon; Ninth Maine Veterans ribbon; 12th Maine Infantry Vols ribbon; 14th Maine Regiment Association Third Annual... > Item Details
Battery F, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, <i>Ricketts' Battery</i>, Civil War Document Archive
Lot # 324 - Battery F, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Ricketts' Battery, Civil War Document Archive
50 items. Ricketts’ Battery of the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery was an active unit during the Civil War, serving in the heat of the eastern theatre. Raised in August 1861, the battery served in Maryland during the early months of the war, followed by duty in the Shenandoah Valley, Secon... > Item Details
Turner Ashby, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel, War-Date DS
Lot # 353 - Turner Ashby, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel, War-Date DS
Turner Ashby (1828-1862). A signed Confederate States of America pay voucher, February 7, 1862, no place, acknowledging receipt of $555 for three months service, November 1, 1861 to January 31, 1862, signed in black ink Thomas Ashby / Lt Col Comdg Cvry. Ashby served as a Confederate Cavalry Brigadi... > Item Details
Chief Red Cloud Photograph by D.F. Barry
Lot # 184 - Chief Red Cloud Photograph by D.F. Barry
Silver gelatin photograph of the aged Oglala Chief Red Cloud, 7 x 9.5 in. (sight), mounted in cardstock with back cover, 10.75 x 16 in., photograph and mount include Barry's blindstamp, plus cardstock's verso features printed paper stamp advertising Barry's Superior, Wisconsin studio. Ac... > Item Details
William Notman Photograph of Squaws at a Blackfoot Camp
Lot # 212 - William Notman Photograph of Squaws at a Blackfoot Camp
Albumen photograph titled in the negative 2164 Squaws, Blackfoot Camp, signed in negative by Notman & Son's, Montreal, 7 x 9 in., on cream-colored mount, 9 x 11 in.  > Item Details
CSA Major General Benjamin Cheatham, Autographed CDV
Lot # 36 - CSA Major General Benjamin Cheatham, Autographed CDV
A Brady vignette pencil-signed beneath portrait in Cheatham's distinctive hard-to-read hand, Very Respt / Your Obt. Ser / B J Cheatham / Maj. Gnl CSA. Penciled at top in the field is a notation that appears to read, 1865 / Sept(?) / N. York / Hotel. Benjamin Cheatham (1820-1886) distinguished... > Item Details
<i>Buffalo Bill's Wild West Review</i>, London, 1892
Lot # 291 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Review, London, 1892
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Review, Earl's Court, London, 1892. Folio, 19pp plus chromolithographed cover. Edited by William Cangan, with 61 illustrations by Charles Henckel. > Item Details
William R. Carr, 12th Massachusetts Vols., KIA Gettysburg, Civil War Archive
Lot # 328 - William R. Carr, 12th Massachusetts Vols., KIA Gettysburg, Civil War Archive
9 letters from Sgt. William R. Carr, 1861-1863. Plus 6 related family letters. The war letters start with Carr’s May 17, 1861 admission to his father that yes, he had run off and joined the militia. You said that Uncle Daniel let the cat out of the bag about my Enlisting in my Country’s Service; my... > Item Details
15th Corps Veteran, Sixth Plate Tintype, with Inset <i>Forty Rounds</i> Badge
Lot # 20 - 15th Corps Veteran, Sixth Plate Tintype, with Inset Forty Rounds Badge
A painfully young early war volunteer from the call of 1862 wearing a regulation four button sack coat with cravat that is the off-to-war dress of a recent civilian. The anonymous private is accoutered with a US oval plate on a pristine, just-issued leather belt holding a brass-hilted sword bayonet... > Item Details
Abraham Lincoln Salted Paper Photograph by Samuel Fassett
Lot # 132 - Abraham Lincoln Salted Paper Photograph by Samuel Fassett
Oval-length salted paper photograph of a beardless Abraham Lincoln, heavily retouched, 4.75 x 6.25 in., mounted, 5.5 x 7.5 in. Original portrait taken in Chicago, Oct. 4, 1859 at the Cooke & Fassett gallery (Ostendorf, O-16). > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: