Having just looked at the Gilbert photos on the Beinecke site (and I don't recall seeing them the last time I looked, which, I grant you, was a while back - maybe they put new ones up all the time, like the Godkins that I don't recall being on the SIRIS site until after Ephriam had his CD), it's clear we have the old problem of one photographer selling the images of another; however, the backdrop that Gilbert used is fairly distinctive. I notice that 'Dakota' is as the tribal name on most of the photos, but I wonder if some of them aren't people from the Berthold tribes.
Here's one that wasn't on the Beinecke site - or if it was, I missed it. He's not named - but, alas, he isn't Low Dog, Shan!
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2007 3:21:07 GMT -5 by grahamew
The Gilbert photo of Crow King is outstanding, indeed. I was not aware it existed, so it is an exciting discovery for me after having researched this man's life for quite some time now. Does anyone know when it was taken? His style of dress is really interesting, and quite flamboyant for a former Lakota war chief. He apparently was well on his way to adapting to European-style dress by the time this photo was taken. Does anyone know what the feathers he wears signify? I know that the Lakota had very specific meanings for the way their coup feathers were arranged in their hair, and this image could provide revelations about his former war exploits. There is another image of Crow King that I am aware of, and I will try to post it soon. It is a charcoal portrait that was created by the German artist, Rudolf Cronau at Standing Rock in 1883, and the original is at the Wunderlich Gallery in NYC. Just goes to show that it's never too late to uncover exciting new historical information, and this photo just made my day. Thank you!
Thanks very much for posting your copy of the Cronau portrait. As usual, I am way behind in digging through my stored records and photos and have not had a chance to find mine yet, so my apologies for that. I found it interesting that Cronau included "Chief of the Blackfeet Sioux" in his caption for the drawing. It seems unlikely that he might have mistook this information, considering that he was actually at Standing Rock and capturing the likenesses of living figures. Can anyone shed any light on this? It is the only place that I can recall seeing a connection mentioned for Crow King with another division of the Lakota other than the Hunkpapa. Is there a chance that it might hold some new information regarding his kinship ties, possibly through marriage?
I agree that this image seems to portray an older looking man than the one who posed in the more familiar photographs taken by D.F. Barry at Fort Buford in the spring of 1881, and even in the lesser known image captured by Zalmon Gilbert which appears to be from that same year. I may have had the date wrong for the Cronau portrait too. I thought it was drawn from life in 1883, although it appears to say October 10, 1881 in this scan. I hope I'm reading it correctly but, if I am, Crow King was only a few months older than he was in the Barry photographs when this sitting was done at Standing Rock. Crow King's obituary in the Bismarck Tribune in the spring of 1884 stated that he died of "quick consumption of the lungs", and it has been documented in various books that he suffered many battle wounds in his lifetime, including one that nearly killed him when an enemy arrow passed entirely through is body in a battle near Milk River at an unknown date. James McLaughlin wrote in his memoirs that, following this encounter, Crow King was left on the field to die at his own request, although he later recovered and returned to his people, much to their amazement. He was also wounded at the Little Bighorn fight, according to Gilbert, and Judson Elliott Walker claimed that the war chief was in so much discomfort from old wounds at the time of his surrender in 1881 that he could barely sit on his horse. Coincidently, Crow King's only two daughters, Mary and Emma, both appear to have died from tuberculosis sometime after his death.
Cronau may have exercised his artistic license in the Crow King portrait, as he appears to have done in his likeness of Sitting Bull. Something about the latter's headdress looks a little suspect to me, and I don't recall having seen any other photos taken of Sitting Bull at Standing Rock in which he wore a full ceremonial warbonnet. He appears to have dressed quite conservatively during his reservation years, and most photos of him speaking in council at that time reveal that he wore no coup feathers on such occasions, let alone a full eagle feather headdress. Many 'dress' photos of him appear to have been taken while he was on tour with Buffalo Bill's wild west show.
The discovery of the Crow King photo by Gilbert makes me wonder if other less known images may exist of the war chief. Is anyone aware of other photographic or artistically rendered portraits? I am also hoping to find copies of any existing pictures of the Indian police force at Standing Rock, circa 1881-1884. Many thanks.
I haven´t seen the second photo, too. But the first is a photograph of the police force that arrested Sitting Bull. Red Tomahawk, who shot SB, stands in the middle. I think the man standing right is Eagle Man, but I forgot who is left... I´m sure some other will remember better.