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George Sword



Comparison Godkin photo / Brady 1877 photo — Buffaloman

dated circa 1875. William F. Cody (center) with scouts.
Standing on far left is John Nelson; sitting right is George Sword.

This image of George Sword seems identical to his individual portrait taken in 1877 with the delegates to Washington D.C.

If so, I would suggest that this new photograph is dated 1877. George Sword was not actually a member of the 1877 delegation but he and another Oglala (Two Bears if I recall correctly) had been hired to be in a play with Cody that year. When the 1877 delegation from the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies came to Washington D.C., Cody and his troupe were playing in the city at the same time. The delegation came to see the play and Sword accompanied the delegation on several of its trips, including to the photographer's studio. That is when the classic portrait of Sword taken by Charles M. Bell was made. — Ephriam Dickson

From Pine Ridge, in the fall of 1877, Cody hired at least George Sword and Two Bears, also John Y. Nelson as interpreter, for his Buffalo Bill Combination of 1877-78. Two Bears is said to have been a Hunkpapa.

This surprising "new" photo of Sword and Cody has already been on its way for some time. It is published in Louis S. Warren, BUFFALO BILL'S AMERICA: WILLIAM CODY AND THE WILD WEST SHOW; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. — Hans Karkheck

George Sword does appear to be wearing the same outfit in the 1877 delegation photos and does suggest this is an 1877 photograph. The moccasins look to be the same in the Bell photo. The leggings, blanket, shirt, otter braid wraps with a single beaded wrap are in the delegation photos. An upright eagle feather is worn in the delegation photos, but the feather is worn sideways in the "new" photo. Metal armbands, and a dentalia shell choker is worn by Sword in the delegation photos, but not in the new photo. — Buffaloman


George Sword as Captain of Police at Pine Ridge


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