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Cheyenne Prisoners of the 1879 Outbreak

Some of the Cheyenne who participated in the 1879 outbreak:

Left to right.: Tangle Hair, Wild Hog, Strong Left Hand, George Reynolds (interpreter), Old Crow, Noisy Walker, Porcupine, Blacksmith — Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

The photograph (and at least one more very similar view of the same group) was taken on 30th April 1879 on the steps of the courthouse at Dodge City, Kansas. The Cheyennes shown were awaiting trial for alleged offences dating back to September 1878. The case was dismissed in October 1879 when the prosecution failed to attend court for the trial. — Gary

About the Cheyenne in the photo above:

  • Tangle Hair, a half-Sioux by birth, was a dog soldier headman
  • Wild Hog, a headman of the Elkhorn Scraper warrior society, was the leader of all the warriors in Dull Knife´s band during the flight to the North
  • Strong Left Hand, also known as Strong Left Arm or simply Left Hand, was a headman of the Crazy Dog warrior society and was at the LBH
  • Noisy Walker or Noisy Walking (not the son of White Bull) or Old Man was a mature Northern Cheyenne dog soldier warrior
  • Old Crow or Crow was a council chief who had a bad reputation because he had scouted for the soldiers when Dull Knife´s village was destroyed in 1876
  • Porcupine (1847-1929) was also a mature dog soldier warrior, he was the son of White Weed, an Arikara and a Lakota woman, but was married to a Northern Cheyenne woman. He was later a Ghost Dance teacher and a council chief (see P. Powell)
  • Blacksmith was an older warrior

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

The photographs of the Cheyenne prisoners were sold by the firm of Leonard & Martin of Topeka, Kansas, presumably the original photographers. (J. H. Leonard and his partner H. T. Martin).

Here is another version of the same individuals:

— Ephriam Dickson

Here is the same group with some of their women and children in a studio setting. I just recently saw this photograph in a German translated version of "Life of George Bent". It is interesting, I think, because it shows a rather young George Bent (interpreting at this trial), who looks more like an Indian here than in other photos with mustache.

Note that Old Crow, as one of the 44 council chiefs of the Cheyenne the highest ranking member of this group, sits in the center:

Front row, left to right: Old Crow´s son, Wild Hog´s daughter. Second row, sitting: Porcupine, Old Crow´s wife, Old Crow, Wild Hog. Back row, standing: Old Crow´s daughter, Noisy Walker, Strong Left Hand, George Bent, Blacksmith, Tangle Hair, Wild Dog´s daughter. — Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

Fort Robinson outbreak, Frank Leslie's Illustrated, Feb. 15, 1879. — Grahame Wood

Here are possibly three men from the photographs made at the trial in Kansas, pictured in later years:


Tangle Hair:

Old Crow:

Strong Left Hand, the Elkhorn Scraper chief, ca, 1890 in Montana:

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

©2008-2022 Diane Merkel & Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
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