THE COWBOY, THE BANDITO, AND THE INDIAN

Three young men have a great time posing for their photo at a photo studio. They are in terrific costumes and two of the three subjects have drawn pistols. The Indian has a feather in his hair, the cowboy is wearing wooly chaps, and the Mexican bandito is wearing a sombrero.  The reverse of this vintage real photo postcard has a stamped name, “Giuseppe Cervello”.  Cervello is likely the photographer of this image. This postcard was once a resident of a scrap book or postcard album as can be seen by the black page remnants affixed to the reverse of the card. The stamp box indicates that this postcard was published between 1907-1915.  (SOLD)                                                                                                                                                                             

Published in: on October 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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FEMALE NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENT AT THE CARLISLE INDIAN SCHOOL IN CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA

native amer woman_0008The reverse of this photograph has an inscription and is signed by the subject. The young woman in this image is Amy Dalphus and the inscription states “to sister “Phillips” from sister “Beaver” Remember the day this was taken”. Miss Dalphus is well dressed and attractive in her coat, hat, and leather gloves. The photographer of this image was Hertsler whose studio was located in Carlisle. Research reveals that Amy E. Dalphus was from the Sioux tribe in South Dakota. She graduated from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1903. She is cited in the book “A Biobibliography of Native American Writers, 1772-1924: A Supplement”by Littlefield and Parins (1985). Next to her name is the following: “Red Man and Helper, February 20-27, 1903”. Perhaps she wrote an article for this magazine or maybe her graduation is listed in the magazine’s pages. Research found little information about Miss Dalphus. Her name was listed on a number of annual “Indian Census” reports from the turn of the century. The “Indian Census” of 1896 reported her to be living in South Dakota with her step mother (Mrs. Moore)  and three brothers and a sister. She lived under the auspices of the “Cheyenne River Agency”. The 1900 US census found her living in Carlisle as a student.The story of the Carlisle Indian school is an example of well meaning people committing terrible deeds in an effort to help others. It is important to realize that not everyone involved in this school, and others like it, were actually well intentioned. The Carlisle school operated from 1879 through 1918 as a boarding school founded by Captain Richard Henry Pratt. The school was part of the effort of the US government to assimilate children from 39 tribes into the majority culture. This was an effort to “civilize the Indian”. Pratt saw his task as similar to his experience with the “domestication of wild turkeys”. He believed his mission was the “annihilation of the Indian and his salvation as an American Citizen”. Pratt’s goal was to “kill the Indian in him, and save the man”. Many children were subject to this assimilation project. During some years, the school had as many as a thousand students a year. In addition, there were other schools engaged in the same endeavor. The students were forced to take English names to replace their given tribal names. This was very difficult for the students to accept because their tribal names had personal meanings that reflected their experiences or relationships. In the inscription on the reverse of this photograph, Amy Dalphus refers to herself as “Beaver” alongside her English name. Perhaps this is an effort by her to not surrender her tribal name. The Carlisle school became well known for its athletic programs. Coach Pop Warner and the talented athlete, Jim Thorpe, received national attention. More people are aware of Carlisle’s sports prowess than the actual abuse and racism that permeated the concept and operation of the school.

THREE NATIVE AMERICAN SIBLINGS IN EL RENO, OKLAHOMA TERRITORY (PHOTOGRAPHED BY STOTZ)

This cabinet card is chock full of history. The photograph features three young Native Americans posing for their portrait at the studio of Christopher Charles Stotz (1851-1932), in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory. The subjects of this image are likely siblings. The young women are wearing identical dresses and are adorned with rings and beautiful earrings. The specific Indian tribe that these three young people represent, is unknown. Oklahoma was the home of many Indian Tribes including Pawnee, Creek, Apache, Arapaho, Choctaw, and others. Many tribes were relocated there from other states. As mentioned earlier, the photographer of this cabinet card is C. C. Stotz and his studio was located in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory. Oklahoma became a state in 1907 which means that this photograph was taken before that year. El Reno is located in central Oklahoma, about 25 miles from Oklahoma City. Fort Reno was built in 1874 and it’s first commander was Civil War hero, General Philip Sheridan. Sheridan named the fort after his friend, General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in the Civil War. The fort was near the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation. One of the fort’s missions was to “protect” the “Five Civilized Tribes”. This group was comprised of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes. Employing the term “civilized tribe” was evidence of the special prejudice held against the tribes not among the designated five civilized tribes. Tribes described as civilized were tribes that had adopted many of the customs and values that were held by  European-Americans at the time.  Who was C. C. Stotz?  Stotz was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania.  He  established a studio in El Reno in 1889; the same year El Reno was founded. Therefore, this photograph was taken between 1889  (El Reno founded) and 1907 (Oklahoma statehood). During the 1880’s and 1890’s, he made field and studio photographs of Southern Plains Indians. Stotz is an acclaimed early photographer  of Native American’s and Native American life.