A young woman poses for her portrait at the Tolman studio in Nebraska City, Nebraska. She is likely in her teenage years. She is wearing a wide black band around her neck. Is the band jewelry? Is it part of her dress? Does the black collar band represent something (ie mourning)? I hope some of the visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery will express their opinion about the band. The photographer of this image is Thomas W. Tolman. One source states that he was from Fort Dodge, Iowa and that he is listed in the 1882 Glenwood (Iowa) business directory (1882) as a photographer. Later, he was listed in the 1890 Nebraska City business directory. An article in the Gillette News Record (Wyoming) presents some interesting information about Mr. Tolman. He was hired by Collier’s Magazine to document a group of White River Utes migration from the Uintah reservation in Utah. They were heading north and their trip took them through Gillette. They were leaving the reservation because of a federal mandate that reclaimed some of the land on the reservation for homesteading and mining. A group of about 400 men, women, and children started the journey in 1906. Their destination was unclear. It was thought they may have been heading to Montana, or South Dakota. When they arrived near Gillette, they camped about 50 miles north of the city. This was the locale where they were photographed by Tolman. Along their travels, there were rumors of violence attributed to the this group of Native Americans. These rumors were unfounded. The New York Times condemned the journalists who reported the “fake news” about this group of Utes. Unfortunately, the complaints came from citizens who wanted the group rounded up and the US Cavalry was called to intercept them. Tolman photographed the group of Utes, both before and after the arrival of the US troops. A compromise was made and the migrating Native Americans agreed to go to Fort Meade, South Dakota with the cavalry escort. In exchange, the Utes were promised an opportunity to go to Washington D.C. to express their feelings about the Government’s “land grab”. In fact, Ute leaders did go to the nation’s capital where they met with President Theodore Roosevelt and hi head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The US did not change it’s policies. The Utes stayed at Fort Meade for about six months and than leased land from the Sioux for about a year. In 1908, the group returned to their reservation in Utah. The photos appeared in Collier’s Magazine. The article was headlined “The Unquiet Ute”. An example of one of the photographs in the series can be found below. It is not included in the sale of this cabinet card. It is impressive that Tolman was able to take well regarded photos without the comfort and resources of his studio. SOLD

Published in: on October 14, 2020 at 12:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. The ribbon in this style was (is?) called a choker, and came into and out of fashion for women and teen girls over the years.

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