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Big Tree, Kiowa chief, in Indian Territory

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Creator: Soule, William Stinson, 1836-1908

Date: Between 1869 and 1875

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: E99 K5.I BT *4

Unit ID: 227872

Summary: This carte-de-visite of the Kiowa chief Big Tree is believed to have been made in the early 1870s by William S. Soule at Fort Sill, Indian Territory. 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. 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 the acquisition of the photographs. 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. More than one photographer is represented in the collection; however, many of the images can either definitely be attributed to Will Soule or, as in this case, are deemed likely to be his work.

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Title (Main title): Big Tree, Kiowa chief, in Indian Territory


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