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Comanche family in Indian Territory

View at Kansas Memory

Date: Between 1870 and 1878

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: E99 C85 F2 *3

Unit ID: 227828

Summary: This carte-de-visite of a Comanche couple and their son was made in Indian Territory in the 1870s. The photographer is believed to have been either William S. Soule or William P. Bliss. Soule is well-known for the photographs he made of Southern Plains Indians in the late 1860s and early 1870s. He arrived at Fort Dodge in 1867, moved briefly to Camp Supply a couple of years later, then relocated to Fort Sill, where he remained until returning to Boston in late 1874 or early 1875. The photographer William P. Bliss moved from Wichita, Kansas to Indian Territory about the time Soule left. He was based first at the Cheyenne Agency at Darlington, then moved to Fort Sill. Some photographs thought to have been originally created by Soule also were marketed under the Bliss imprint. This carte-de-visite is one of at least fifty collected by Charles L. Wilson in the 1870s. Born in West Virginia, Wilson lived in Kansas most of his life, residing in St. George, Manhattan, Miltonvale, and Topeka. Little is known about how and why he acquired the cartes-de-visite. Notations on many of them suggest they were procured in Indian Territory; some notations also indicate that Wilson was a member of Company L of the Kansas Eleventh Cavalry. Because that regiment disbanded several years before the images were made, his military service was probably unrelated to acquisition of the photos. The Wilson collection is characterized by the unique style in which each carte-de-visite is mounted. The mounts obscure whatever photographer's imprint may exist on the original cards. However, several images in the Wilson collection can either definitely be attributed to Soule and/or they have been found to carry the Bliss imprint in other known examples.

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Title (Main title): Comanche family in Indian Territory


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