Bill of slave sale, 2pp, 7.75 x 11 in., Washington, DC. July 3, 1830. From Dorcas Galvin of the city of Washington to Catherine W. Greenfield. Documents sale of "the person, labour and services of my Negro Slave called Caroline / eighteen months, the daughter of Casandra / for and during the term of twenty eight years and six months at the end of which term the said Caroline will, if living, have attained the age of thirty...." With Galvin's seal and signature, and signatures of witnesses John Chalmers and William Hicks. Verso with statement of Justice of the Peace "Jno Chalmers" declaring that said party appeared before him and that said slave Caroline will be "manumitted and discharged from all service to her or any claiming under her from and after the term of service therein named."
Letter, 2pp, approx 5.25 x 8.375 in., n.p., n.d. Document appears to provide the written text for a fugitive slave advertisement that is intended for publication. Written and signed by "John Wagoner." Addressed to "Editor of Battle Ground Scholastic" / "Mattre [?] King."
Document reads in part, "$100 Reward / The undersigned begs lief to state to the public, that he will give a reward for $100.00 to any person returning to him one fine young man who has lately strayed or as his hair is somewhat kinky been stolen by some unprincipled wrech with the hope of receiving a valuable remuneration for him within the borders of the southern states." Author then continues by describing the physical characteristics of the individual and his clothing.
The 1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules list two slave owners by the name of "John Wagoner," one in Virginia and one in Arkansas; the 1860 Slave Schedules list three slave owners by the same name with the additional owner living in Kentucky. The Library of Congress Chronicling America historic newspaper database does not list any publication with the name "Battle Ground Scholastic."
Partly printed tax receipt for W.H. Bayliss for his 1857 taxes in Doniphan County, Kansas, completed in manuscript on July 20, 1858. 7.5 x 3.5 in. Doniphan: Crusader of Freedom, n.d. .
Printed at the Crusader of Freedom offices, Doniphan, Kansas, the newspaper started by James Redpath (1833-1891). Originally from Scotland, the journalist first worked for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune where he published a series of articles compiling "Facts of Slavery." In 1855, he moved to the Kansas-Missouri border and reported on the slavery disputes for the Free Soil newspaper The Missouri Democrat. He then started his own paper, the Crusader of Freedom, with the first printed words being: "I enroll myself a Crusader of Freedom until slavery ceases to exist."
He met John Brown immediately after the Pottawatomie Creek incident and his interview with the fervent abolitionist was Brown's debut in the press with Redpath labeling him a "warrior-saint." The journalist became Brown's most vocal supporter in the press, and his report of the Battle of Osawatomie helped take Brown to national prominence. This receipt was printed near the end of Redpath's time in Kansas, as he moved to Boston in July 1858 at Brown's suggestion in order to more directly support his plan for a Southern insurrection of the enslaved. After Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Redpath would write in his defense and publish The Public Life of Capt. John Brown in 1860, with portions of the proceeds going to Brown's family.
CDV portrait of Frederick Douglass. Samuel M. Fassett: Chicago, n.d., [late February 1864]. Photographer’s 122 & 124 Clark St. imprint on verso. Douglass is pictured wearing a dark, high-necked waistcoat and jacket looking at the camera with a piercing gaze, his hair beginning to grey. Cataloged in Picturing Frederick Douglass cat. #30, dated to Douglass’ trip to Chicago to deliver two lectures at Bryan Hall on February 25 and 28, 1864.
CDV portrait of Sojourner Truth. Uncredited: Michigan, 1864. With recto caption, "I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance. / Sojourner Truth." Verso with imprint, "Entered according to the act of Congress in the year 1864, by Sojourner Truth, in the Clerk's Office, of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Mich." Truth appears seated at a table with flowers, engaged in a knitting project. A fine image in pristine condition.
Oversize albumen photograph of street view of former slave pen, 9 x 7 in., mounted to 11 x 9 in. Uncredited: [Alexandria, Virginia], circa 1864. Ink inscription on verso, “Slave Pen at Alexandria Va.”
James H. Birch and Charles M. Price operated the largest slave pen in Alexandria, Virginia beginning in 1858. The building's orientation within the city, midway between the urban center and farmland to the west, allowed for the efficient containment and transport of men, women, and children before and after slave auctions. Following the invasion and capture of Alexandria by the Union Army in May 1861, the facility was converted to a military prison.
CDV full-length portrait of African American soldier. Gayford & Speidel: Rock Island, Illinois, n.d., circa 1865. Imprint on verso. Identified on verso by ink inscription as “Joseph Taylor / 1st. Sergt. Co. F. 108 U.S.C.T.”
Organized at Louisville, Kentucky on June 20, 1864, the 108th United States Colored Infantry regiment consisted predominantly of formerly enslaved men from Kentucky as well as some free men. After garrison and guard duty at various points in Kentucky, the regiment arrived at Rock Island POW camp in Illinois. Here the 108th served guard duty over Confederate prisoners from January to May 1865 during which time this photograph was likely taken.
Records indicate that Taylor enlisted on June 27, 1864, as a 1st Sergeant, his discharge or any other information is unlisted. Gayford & Speidel Photographers were active in a Rock Island in the 1860s and are known to have photographed dozens of soldiers from the USCT, including Lot 21 in Part I of The Road West. A group of 30 related Gayford & Speidel images of officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men from the 108th, Company F are in the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Taylor’s image is not among them.
Lot of 2 CDV studio portraits of Anderson Ruffin Abbot (1837-1913), comprising:
CDV full-length portrait of Anderson Ruffin Abbott. Mathew Brady: New York & Washington DC, n.d. circa 1863. Imprints on recto and verso. Contemporary pen inscription on verso identifies Abbott and his military designation. Abbott is photographed wearing a three-piece suit and his academic robe with three velvet stripes visible on each sleeve. His hand rests on a book. Taken during Abbott’s time serving as a surgeon in the Union Army.
CDV vignette bust portrait of Anderson Ruffin Abbott. John Goldin & Co.: Washington DC, n.d., circa 1864-5. Imprint and 2-cent revenue stamp to verso. Abbott is pictured wearing his military uniform with his shoulder boards visible. Two CDV portraits of Abbott are held by the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections at the Toronto Public Library including a portrait of Abbott in his military uniform taken by Brady (S90.A.R.ABBOTT.PHOTO.NO.37), perhaps taken at the same sitting as the first image here. Neither view offered here was found in other examples.
Abbott led a prestigious life with the distinction of being the first Canadian-born Black doctor. His parents were free people of color who fled Alabama when their store was looted and after settling briefly in New York, relocated to Toronto in 1835 after experiencing further racial tensions. His parents purchased property around the city and amassed considerable wealth allowing Anderson access to a fine education. Studying at Oberlin College in Ohio, one of the few integrated American colleges, he later returned to Canada to attend the Toronto School of Medicine and to study under African American doctor Alexander Thomas Augusta who was practicing in Toronto. Abbott received his medical license in 1861 from the Medical Board of Upper Canada to become the first Canadian-born Black doctor. In Toronto, he married Mary Ann Casey (1855-1931) on August 9, 1871, a CDV portrait of her is included as Lot 58. Together they would have three daughters and two sons.
In February 1863, Abbott applied for a commission as an assistant surgeon in the Union Army but was denied. He then reapplied as a “medical cadet” and was accepted as a civilian surgeon under contract in the newly created US Colored Troops. He served in several hospitals from June 1863 through the end of the war including the Freedmen’s Hospital which eventually became a part of Howard University, and was the head of a hospital in Arlington, Virginia. Notably, Abbott was one of several doctors in attendance during President Lincoln’s final hours after he was shot. Mary Todd Lincoln later presented Abbott with a plaid shawl worn by Lincoln at his first inauguration as a gift of appreciation.
CDV full-length studio portrait of Major Martin Delany in military uniform, no imprint, circa 1864. Photographer unidentified. Delany wears his double-breasted uniform with tasseled sash and brimmed hat. He grips his unsheathed sword in one hand while steadying his sheath with the other. Images of Delany are remarkably scarce with only one other copy of this image known.
Martin Robison Delany (1812-1885) was one of the first African American men admitted to Harvard Medical School and led a distinguished medical career in addition to his abolitionist activities, journalistic pursuits, and interest in foreign colonization for African Americans. During the Civil War, he served as a surgeon in the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteers and also aided in recruitment efforts. In February 1865, he became the first African American man to receive a regular army commission when promoted to major in the 104th US Colored Troops. For more details of Delany's life, please see the introduction of this catalogue.
Recruitment card for the 16th Regiment of the Corps d’Afrique, n.d., circa 1863. 88 x 54 mm. The 16th Regiment was organized October 8-16, 1863 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was consolidated with the 95th USCT on April 4, 1864 and designated the 81st USCT (new). Their designation changed again on December 19, 1864, to the 87th USCT and was consolidated on August 14, 1865, with the 84th USCT. The regiment saw duty at Brazos Santiago, Point Isabel, and Brownsville, Texas until July 1864 and saw the remainder of the war in Texas with the Department of the Gulf.
The card references, “Plumley’s Brigade” and “Col. M.C. Kempsey” – referring to Matthew C. Kempsey (1832-1895), a pastor, originally born in Ireland, who first served in the Union when he was enlisted as a chaplain on Dec. 18, 1862, in Albany, New York and commissioned into the 176th New York Infantry. He was discharged on October 16, 1863, possibly when he was attached to the 16th Corps d’Afrique. After the war, he moved west to Iowa and according to the 1880 census, worked as a merchant. “Plumley’s Brigade” likely refers to Mardon Wilson Plumley (alternatively spelled Mordon Plumly), who is listed in official reports as the commanding officer of the 14th Regiment of the Corps d’Afrique, later becoming consolidated into the 86th USCT. After the war, Plumley moved west receiving a land grant on December 15, 1879, for a parcel of land in Sonoma, California near Mt. Diablo.
In formal reports, the 14th Infantry under Col. Plumley and the 16th Infantry under Col. Kempsey were a part of the First Brigade of the Second Division of the Corps d’Afrique. The report noted that they were headquartered at Port Hudson, Louisiana and that the regiments were dispersed with the 14th going to Barrancas, Florida and the 16th to Texas.
CDV of the banner of the 3rd United States Colored Troops designed by David Bustill Bowser. David Bustill Bowser: Philadelphia, n.d., circa 1865. This example bears Bowser’s mark on the verso: “D.B. Bowser / Artist / No. 481 North 4th St. / Philadelphia.” Serving as a kind of business card, one of the earliest examples from an African American artist.
Verso with pencil inscription: "Compliments of / Robert C. Carson." The pictured banner, used as a battle flag, shows an African American soldier and the (white) personification of the Republic grasping fasces. Both figures hold on to an American flag in front of a soldier’s camp, surrounded by laurel leaves and the motto, “Rather Die Freemen, Than Live to be Slaves” and “3rd United States Colored Troops.”
The battle flag captured here was designed by African American artist David Bustill Bowser (1820-1900). From a prominent and well-respected family, Bowser was well regarded for his civic engagement and philanthropy, especially involved in the abolitionist movement. He spent much of his career designing and painting banners and regalia for all manner of organizations and was the natural choice to design the battle flags for several of the regiments of African American soldiers that were formed in 1863. The 3rd USCT was mustered into service on August 10, 1863, and training at Camp William Penn when this banner was created. The inspiring motto at the top of the banner is taken from dynamic abolitionist and Presbyterian pastor Henry Highland Garnet’s “Call to Rebellion” speech at the 1843 National Negro Convention in Buffalo, New York.
CDV studio portrait of seated African American boy wearing a kepi. J.W. Black: Boston, n.d., circa 1865. 173 Washington St. imprint on verso.
James Wallace Black (1825-1896) was an experimental photographer who began his career as a daguerreotype plate polisher. He is well known for his portraits of Walt Whitman and of abolitionist John Brown taken in 1859, the year of Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. He also successfully captured aerial photographs from a hot-air balloon creating Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It – recognized as the first clear aerial image of a city.
Black is also known to have taken the portraits of several officers and enlisted men who served in the Union army during the Civil War. Here, Black captures the youthfulness of his subject reflected in the jaunty angle of the kepi and the hint of a smile. It is possible that the young, unidentified subject may have served in some capacity with a regiment – as the servant for an officer or in another support capacity.
Cabinet card portrait of six men posed together in a studio, including five white men in civilian dress and an African American gentleman wearing a uniform decorated with an assortment of ribbons and medals, presumably collected at GAR reunions. New York Gallery: Reading, Pennsylvania, n.d., circa 1880. Each man looks directly at the camera while raising his glass for a toast. A dog sits between two empty bottles on a table positioned in the middle of the group.
Cabinet card of a bespectacled African American veteran of the Civil War. Foster: Boston, n.d., circa 1882. The subject likely served for some length of time reflected by the six long service stripes he wears on each cuff of his uniform. The single star he wears on his sleeve indicates the relatively senior rank of an enlisted boatswain, gunner, carpenter, or master's mate. The subject poses in a studio setting with a Model 1852 sword tucked in his belt, proudly displaying four reunion medals on his chest, including the GAR badge. An interesting image of a veteran reflecting the GAR at its zenith.
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) card for Freeman S. Bowley, Lincoln Post, No. 1 in San Francisco, California. 4 x 2.25 in. Verso pencil inscription: "Freeman S. Bowley Ist Lieut. / 30th Regt. U.S. Colored Inf. / 1st + 2nd Fort Fisher. / Organized Feb. 1864 / 48 KIA / 177 disease."
Freeman S. Bowley of Philadelphia enlisted on May 4, 1864, and was commissioned as a 1st lieutenant into Co. H of the 30th United States Colored Troops. The 30th USCT was heavily involved in the Richmond-Petersburg campaign, including the siege operations against the Virginia cities. The campaign was the Civil War's largest concentration of African American troops, who suffered heavy casualties. It was during the Battle of the Crater on July 30th, when the 30th USCT was deployed in the 1st Brigade in the Fourth Division commanded by Brigadier General Edward Ferrero. The Union forces exploded a mine, forcing open a gap in the Confederate defenses of Petersburg. The attacks after the explosion, however, were confused and Grant referred to the assault as "the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war." The Confederates under Robert E. Lee quickly countered, repulsing Union forces and inflicting severe casualties on Ferrero's division in particular. It was here that Bowley was captured and later confined at Macon, Georgia.
The card verso particularly mentions the first and second Battles of Fort Fisher where the Union attempted to capture the fort guarding Wilmington, North Carolina, the South's last major Atlantic port. The first battle, December 23-27, 1864, was abandoned due to several factors. The second, in January 1865, was a more successful siege sometimes referred to as the "Gibraltar of the South." The rest of the war, the 30th USCT participated in the Carolinas Campaign seeing the surrender of CSA General Joseph E. Johnston. The unit and Bowley were mustered out of service on December 10, 1865.
Freeman S. Bowley is listed in the San Francisco city directories as early as 1869, and as late as 1901 with occupations listed variously as a fireman, engineer, and locomotive engineer. GAR, Lincoln Post No. 1 was chartered in December 1874 and last mentioned in 1940.
John Brown pinback button. Caption "Semi-Centennial Celebration of the Battle of Osawatomie" surrounds illustration of battle scene below which appears a portrait of John Brown flanked by banners with the abolitionist's name, the date of the confrontation, August 30, 1856, and year of the commemorative celebration, 1906. Back paper with identification "Buttons Made by / The Whitehead & Hoag Co. / Newark, N.J., U.S.A." circa 1906. Diam.: 1.5 in.
The Battle of Osawatomie was an engagement involving pro-slavery forces led by John W. Reid and Free-State abolitionists led by John Brown during the Bleeding Kansas era. On August 30, 1856, Reid and his men attacked the settlement of Osawatomie, Kansas, killing John Brown's son and destroying the town in the process. Despite the losses suffered by the abolitionists during this violent clash, the Battle of Osawatomie served to heighten Brown's reputation as a formidable anti-slavery figure earning him the moniker "Osawatomie Brown." A scarce pinback button produced to commemorate this pivotal event.
Cabinet card of an unidentified Buffalo Soldier. O.S. Goff: Fort Custer, Montana, n.d., circa 1880s. Imprint on verso. Photographer Orland Scott Goff (1843-1912). The soldier stands with one hand on his hip, wearing uniform including kepi with insignia.
The background and pose featured here are identical to another photograph sold as Lot 32 in Part I of The Road West, featuring an identified member of Company D, 25th Infantry Regiment. Two companies of the 25th Infantry were stationed at Fort Custer starting in May 1888. In addition to the images from this collection, another 25th Infantryman from Fort Custer photographed by Goff is housed in the Library of Congress (LOT 14024, no. 23 [P&P]).
Lot of 2 tintypes of Buffalo Soldier cavalrymen, comprising:
CDV-sized tintype studio portrait of young African American man in uniform and a woman in a fine dress, wearing a hat, and holding a parasol. Uncredited.
Ninth plate tintype studio portrait of a soldier, crossed swords clearly visible on his kepi which appear to identify him as serving with Company C of the 9th Cavalry. Uncredited.
Tintype studio portrait of four men, one identified as Sargent Thomas Polk of the 9th Cavalry. Uncredited: [Fort Sill, Indian Territory], n.d., circa 1885. With original paper frame, now separated from the tintype with ink inscriptions. Verso reads: "Sergent Thomas Polk. Troop / C. 9 Ud. Cavalry. Fort. Sill. / I.T." Recto reads: "Back Row Left / Wm. Tull, John Polk / Front Left / J. C. B...[illegible]." Four young men are pictured with two seated on stools with the others standing behind them, one with his hands on his friend's shoulders.
Thomas Polk is listed as a "recruit" with Co. C of the 9th Cavalry in March 1882 at Fort Sill, Indian Territory and shows up in records as late as a return from Fort Leavenworth on Sept. 5, 1892, with the same company. Notably, he returned to Fort Sill, now listed as a sergeant on the returns dated January 6, 1885. This image with three companions, one possibly his brother John, was likely taken at this time.
CDV studio portrait of an unidentified Buffalo Soldier corporal with dual chevrons visible on his sleeve. William Richard Cross: Niobrara, Nebraska, n.d., circa 1880s. Pictorial imprint on verso.
Cross (1839-1907), originally from Vermont, had moved west and initially operated a traveling tent studio in northeastern Nebraska. He settled in Niobrara and opened a studio on July 4, 1878, where he would remain for the next twelve years though he still traveled intermittently. Notably, he opened another studio at Fort Niobrara around 1886 and worked with his apprentice John A. Anderson at Fort Meade in 1888. Units of the 9th Cavalry joined the garrison in 1885 at Fort Niobrara and the 25th Infantry had troops at Fort Meade during this period. Though his collar pins are not fully discernable, this corporal is almost certainly from one of these regiments.
CDV studio portrait of an unidentifed Buffalo Soldier in uniform. Gustav Cramer: St. Louis, Missouri, n.d., circa 1885-1887. 1001 S. Broadway imprint on verso.
The officer, of either the 9th or 10th Cavalry known as Buffalo Soldiers, stands with erect posture, one hand holding his cavalry saber, the other resting on his scabbard. He wears his kepi, with his designation as part of Troop B clearly visible. In 1885, the 10th Cavalry was assigned to the Department of Arizona and the 9th to Fort Robinson, Kansas (present-day western Nebraska), suggesting that this officer was perhaps on leave in St. Louis, the site of extensive recruitment for both regiments in 1867.
Cabinet card studio portrait of an unidentifed Buffalo Soldier sergeant of Company B, 24th Infantry. C.S. Fly: Tombstone, Arizona Territory, n.d., circa 1882. "Fly's Gallery" imprint on recto. Verso inscribed: "Mrs. Lottie Nenanet?" A half-length portrait of the soldier with his sergeant's chevrons visible on his sleeve and his regiment and company pin visible on his hat. Perhaps taken when the 24th was stationed at nearby Camp/Fort Huachuca.
Camilius S. Fly (1849-1901) was the principal photographer of Tombstone, Arizona, moving there in 1879 with his wife Mary and promptly setting up a tent studio. Fly's Gallery was open by 1880 and he photographed the town and vicinity. He is best remembered for his series of photographs documenting Geronimo, Apache warriors, General Crook, as well as the gunfighters and lawmen that put Tombstone on the map. Though he was prolific, no other known images of Buffalo Soldiers or African Americans taken by Fly are known. This image, almost certainly unique, was undoubtedly made for the sitter. Fly's negatives were destroyed in a studio fire in 1912 and another warehouse fire in 1915.
Boudoir card featuring a group of Ute Indian subjects with Buffalo Soldier John Taylor. W.E. Hook: Colorado Springs, Colorado, n.d., circa 1890. Credited and captioned in the negative: "Hook Photo / 1781 Band of Ute Indians." Photographer's blindstamp on mount. John Taylor stands near the center of the group, wearing a suit, while western-style hats and feathered headdresses rest on the grass in the foreground. Another boudoir card featuring John Taylor and Ute Indians was sold as Lot 37 in Part I of The Road West.
Born into slavery in Paris, Kentucky, Taylor (1841-1935) escaped as a young man and enlisted in a Black regiment of the Union Army, possibly the 10th US Cavalry. He was discharged in February of 1866 but reenlisted the following year and traveled west, serving in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Along the way, he learned Spanish and the languages of the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and Ute peoples and often worked as a translator. Taylor found he preferred the company of the Indians he encountered over that of the white settlers, many of whom were unaccustomed to the presence of African Americans on the frontier. He purportedly had twelve wives during his lifetime, and, partially by consequence, helped establish Ignacio, Colorado, by selling to the Southern Utes a homestead he inherited from a deceased stepson; this land was later merged with additional holdings to form the town.
Lot of 2 cabinet cards related to John Glass, comprising:
Glass, Chief of Scouts, and Wife, Ft. Apache, Ariz. 24. Uncredited but almost certainly [Andrew Miller]: [Globe, Arizona Territory], circa 1886-1887. Stamped to verso "C.A. Spurgeon 561 W. / 4th St., Dayton, O." Glass is seated on a faux log wearing a hat as his American Indian wife, presumably Apache but not identified further, stands at his side, their arms resting on another log.
Wife of the Chief of Scouts Ft. Apache, Arz. A. Miller: Ft. Apache, Arizona, n.d., circa 1886-1887. Imprint on recto. From the same sitting, Glass's wife stands wearing a European-style skirt and bottomed blouse, resting her crossed arms on a faux tree stump.
John T. Glass was born in Polk County, Georgia, and enlisted with the 10th Cavalry in Atlanta in 1876. He is known to have been at Fort Apache during 1887, though was likely there earlier and later as well. He is listed on the voter registers for Apache County, Arizona on October 5, 1888, and September 20, 1890. He and his wife had a son and daughter, and he applied for disability compensation in 1902 because of damaged hearing. He was deaf in both ears by the time he died in 1908. In February 1891, for reasons unknown, Glass shot and killed a Sergeant George Foster. Records do not indicate any wrongdoing and the incident remains a mystery.
The cavalry troops in Arizona Territory and Fort Apache were heavily involved in the Apache Wars and Andrew Miller was one of the principal photographers at the time. He was from Silver City, New Mexico, was known to be active in Globe, Arizona near Fort Apache in 1886, and later worked in Bisbee in 1897. He was killed by Yaqui Indians on August 3, 1899, in Sonora, Mexico. While Miller is well known for his photographs of Apache Indians, these two images are very rare.
Although others have attributed the image to George Benjamin Wittick, it was almost certainly taken by Miller. The second cabinet card, with Miller’s imprint, is from the same sitting, with Glass’s wife wearing the same outfit, necklace, and kerchief. Additionally, the only other known copy of this image bears Miller’s imprint identical to the one seen in the portrait of Mrs. Glass here.
Two other images of Glass are known to exist – White Mountain Apaches and Renegade Negro and Glass, Chief of Scouts, Fort Apache, Ariz. The former shows a standing Glass in buckskins with two Apache scouts amidst studio cacti and the latter shows Glass alone against a different backdrop, armed with an 1878 Colt double-action revolver. (See Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. A Season on the Reservation. My Sojourn with the White Mountain Apache for the author’s pursuit of information on Glass).
Albumen photograph (possibly an unmounted boudoir card), 4 x 5.75 in., featuring a Navajo warrior and an African American soldier. Uncredited and undated, though likely taken by Ben Wittick in Arizona Territory, circa 1887. "Navajo Warrior" and "Negro Cavalry" inscribed in ink beneath each subject. Navajo subject wears a poncho, silver hoop earrings, and a bandolier with pistol. African American subject wears a hat, bandolier, and gauntlets, and holds the barrel of his firearm with one hand.
Albumen photograph, 7.5 x 4.75 in., mounted to 9.875 x 8 in., featuring white soldiers, a Buffalo Soldier, an Indian scout, and an African American woman with a captured "Boomer." Uncredited: n.p., n.d., circa 1883-1885. Captioned in the negative, lower left: "[Indecipherable] Capturing 5[?] Boomers." Verso inscribed, in part: "Boomers captured by Soldiers and Indian Scouts from Fort Reno, between Oklahoma City and Yukon, on Mustang Creek, 1883. / Picture taken at Purcell / Ben Keith to right Sargent Indian Scouts / Flaco, Indian scout, / Negro Jackson / Corporal / Rachel." The Boomer has a thick beard and looks somewhat haggard.
An image with many of the same subjects previously sold in these rooms as Lot 298 in American History: Live Salesroom Auction, November 17, 2017. That image was captioned on verso: "Detachment of Indian Soldiers from C troop 5 Cav. during evictions of the Boomer in 1885 from Oklahoma."
The term "Boomers" refers to white homesteaders in the 1870s and 1880s who moved in on "Unassigned Lands" within Indian Territory, believing them to be part of the public domain. Indian nations sent delegates to Washington DC to counter the railroad lobby and others working to open these lands to the non-Indian settlers. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, numerous Boomers were arrested and expelled by federal forces purposed to protect Indian Territory from intruders.
Cabinet card. Issuing clothing to Apache Indians, San Carlos, Ariz. Uncredited, but possibly by E.A. Bonine, San Carlos, Arizona, circa 1890. View of several Buffalo Soldiers, likely from the 9th and 10th Cavalries, looking on as clothing is issued to Apache Indians, who were relocated from their homelands to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation first established in 1871 by President Grant.
42-star 10th Cavalry guidon flag, n.d., circa 1889-1891. Cotton swallow-tail flag with printed stars, stencil "10" above crossed sabers and "US" at center of field. At widest 32.5 x 25.5 in., framed to 38.25 x 31 in.
No maker's mark and no date, however, the 42-star flag was only official for two years from 1889 to 1891. During this time the 10th participated in the Battle of Salt River on March 7, 1890, at the end of the Apache Wars. In 1891, the 10th was transferred out of the southwest to the Department of Dakota. Other guidons in the same configuration with different cavalry units have surfaced, but none from the Buffalo Soldiers, with suggestions that the flags were used in dress parades. Exceedingly rare.
Boudoir card. Officers Quarters, at Ft. Robinson, Nebr. Uncredited. Toward the camera is a young girl with her dog. The hospital is identified by a manuscript caption in the left margin. Manuscript inscription on verso: "Compliments of H.W. Davis / 'Med. Dept.' / U.S. Army." Additional note: "The little girl shown in this view is the daughter of a colored servant girl at this post. The little girl is white as any white person notwithstanding the fact that she has a negro mother." A rare object illustrating the history of inter-racial relationships in the frontier West soon after Emancipation. The inscriber clearly found it noteworthy to comment that the daughter of an African American woman was "white passing."
The 9th Cavalry was stationed at Fort Robinson in 1885 and became their regimental headquarters from 1887 through 1898. During this time the fort was enlarged and served as a major training center, in part thanks to its strategic placement on the rail lines. Until 1907, the majority of the troops stationed there were African American.
An H.W. Davis was a private with Co. D of the 9th Cavalry and saw action in the Philippine-American War, stationed at Nueva Caceres in 1901. There is no indication, however, that this Davis was involved with the Medical Department and the same hand seen here.
Boudoir card of 25th Infantry, Company A. J.C.H. Grabill: Sturgis, Dakota Territory, circa 1887. Photographer's imprints on recto and verso. 27 Black soldiers stand in line wearing their uniforms and packs, each holding a rifle. A white officer stands at a height behind the troop. The company's "A" designation can be discerned from their cap badges.
The Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Regiment were transferred from the southwest and Texas to the northern Great Plains in 1880, with Companies A, D, H, and K stationed at Fort Meade, in what is now South Dakota. They remained there until June 1888.
John C.H. Grabill (1849-1903) was well known for his photographs of American Indians and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre. He took several images of the 3rd Infantry and notably a remarkable portrait of a Buffalo Soldier wearing a buffalo coat [Sold as Lot 31 in Part I of The Road West]. No images of the 25th Infantry are included in the Library of Congress's Grabill archive of 193 images.
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