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.
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