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.
One scratch with loss near lower left. Image a bit light. Surface soil throughout, spotting and general wear to mount. Penciled inventory/collection numbers/codes on verso.
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