Exceptional photographic archive of Rev. Walter C. Roe (1860-1913) and his wife Mary Wickham Roe, primarily focused on their mission work in Colony and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, ca 1897-1913.
Walter C. Roe was born in Cornwall, New York, graduated from Williams College in 1881, and received a D.D. after completing courses at Williams and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He became pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas, after being advised to move from the East Coast due to poor health, but after a bout with tuberculosis was advised to leave the cities altogether, and took up mission work in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma at the urging of Rev. Frank Hall Wright of the Reformed Church in America. Rev. Roe and his wife lived in a tent for over a year until a parsonage was built, during which time they took it upon themselves to learn the languages of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe living among them. They endeavored to establish missions next to some of the larger Government Indian Schools, but a lack of funding made their only realistic option the small school for children of Apache prisoners at Fort Sill, where they set upon their goal to help build five characteristics in every child: intelligence, ability, self-sufficiency, patriotism, and Christianity. In addition, they worked as advocates for the adults and elders in the region, meeting with government agency officials on their behalf and appealing to leadership in Washington through hundreds of written letters and regular visits. Rev. Roe was bestowed with the honorary Indian name, "Iron Eyes," and Mary Roe was given the name "Happy Woman." In 1908, Rev. Roe was appointed Superintendent of Indian Missions for the Reformed Church and took a special interest in the affairs of Geronimo's band. During an advocacy trip to Washington in 1912, he fell ill again and was sent to the Bahamas to recuperate, where he died in early 1913.
The Roes had no children, but they adopted a Winnebago orphan named Henry Cloud (1884-1950) as a teenager, and he added the Roe name to his in 1908. Henry Roe Cloud (sometimes Henry Cloud Roe), is believed to have been the first full-blooded Native American to graduate from an Ivy League institution, graduating from Yale in 1910, where he was a campus celebrity, so much that he was the first minority accepted into any Yale secret society (Elihu). Like his adoptive parents, Cloud became a a forceful advocate for Indian education, founding the Roe Indian Institute (later American Indian Institute) in Wichita and later serving as a supervisor of education in the Office of Indian Affairs.
Lot includes 3 albums containing 230+ Indian-related photographs, plus other items:
Album, 7.25 x 10.75 in., containing 104 snapshots, each 3.5 in. sq., many captioned on the album pages. This is an amateur album and all photographs appear to be unique and unpublished. The album begins with portraits of Rev. Roe and his wife at their home in Colony, Oklahoma, as well as Rev. F.H. Wright, followed by scores of candid and posed portraits of the local Indians' going about their daily lives, many of them identified. Of particular note is an unpublished photograph of Geronimo standing outside a home, with a boy with a baseball glove standing on the porch behind him. Other examples include Rev. Roe with William Little Chief; an Indian band composed of Cheyenne and Arapahoe schoolboys; a young girl named Tocsi, the "famous little Comanche interpreter at the Apache Mission at Fort Sill"; series of photographs of an Indian camp meeting put on by Revs. Wright and Roe; a series showing Apaches branding cattle on the Fourth of July, 1904; Apache children in the mess hall of the Fort Sill mission school; and much more.
Album, 7.25 x 10.75 in., containing 100 photographs, primarily cabinet card-sized studio portraits pasted directly to the album pages, plus some snapshots and outdoor photographs. These are primarily professional studio photographs by noted photographers such as Irwin, usually seen in cabinet card form, that must have been given to or purchased by the Roes unmounted to compile a souvenir album. Of special note are eight (8) portraits of Geronimo; four of Quanah Parker, as well as two of his wives and daughters Laura and Juanita, and one of him leading a line of Comanches through Lawton, OK, in 1902; Bushy Hair, the "Oldest Apache of the Tribe"; "Apache Outlaw, The Kid"; Chatto and his family; a portrait of an Apache baseball team; Chief Chihuahua and family; Naiche and family; Yellow Wolf; an unidentified Indian policeman armed with rifle and revolver; Chief Gotebo, Kiowa; Working Bird, Kiowa; Kicking Bird, Kiowa; Chief Stumbling Bear, Kiowa, and family; a Wichita war dance; baskets and beaded items on display in the interior of a Mohawk lodge; a class photograph of Apache boys and their white female teachers at Fort Sill; and dozens more portraits, primarily Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa.
Album, 9.5 x 11 in., containing 18 cabinet card-sized prints, 20 postcards related to Indians and Fort Sill/Oklahoma, 27 Abraham Lincoln-related postcards, and 35 miscellaneous travel postcards. The cabinet size silver gelatin prints include two of Geronimo, including one holding a Dance Bros. revolver; Apache Chief Naiche; Comanche girls at Fort Sill; a Wichita war dance; Chief Yellowhammer; as well as Osage, Modoc, and Wyandot people; and a copy photograph of Sitting Bull.
PLUS 9 loose photographic prints, including a 5 x 6 in. photo of an Indian baseball team at Anadarko; Naiche on horseback; a camp meeting at Four Mile Crossing, 8 miles from Lawton, with Quanah Parker and many others in attendance; Indians on horseback at Anadarko, carrying American flags; an Apache village near Fort Sill; and a Kiowa-white mixed family outside their home.
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