MS 1929-b Sitting Bull pictographic autobiography
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Sitting Bull, 1831-1890
Physical Description:
22 Drawings
graphite, colored pencil, and ink
21 x 34 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Pictures of Sitting Bull's war deeds, drawn by himself, with accompanying explanations. Each sheet autographed in cursive hand by Sitting Bull. The scenes are not in chronological order. The pictures were originally drawn on the front leaves of a bound volume of ruled paper and were removed by the archives for lamination. The remaining volume has 8 leaves with mounted newspaper clippings about Sitting Bull, and many additional blank leaves. Inside front cover inscribed "For Gen'l J.C. Smith, No 250 West Van Buren St, Chicago, Ill," and "Fort Randall, DT, April 14, 1882." Nine page handwritten explanation of each drawing, as dictated by Sitting Bull, also removed from volume. Also includes autograph letter signed from W. Tear, Fort Randall, Dakota Territory, August 10 and 16, 1882, 2 pages and typed carbon copy transcription. Three 4" X 5" color transparencies of drawings 1, 10, and 11 filed with 1929-b.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Smith, Robert A.
Custodial History
Drawn on the leaves of an Army ledger book by Sitting Bull while he was held prisoner at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory in 1882. They were acquired at that time by Lt. Wallace Tear together with explanations from Sitting Bull of each image. Tear sent them to Gen. John C. Smith, and they were donated to the BAE by the general's son Robert A. Smith in 1923.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 1929B

United States Dakota Territory Fort Randall.
United States South Dakota Fort Randall.

Album Information
Album Information
MS 1929B 000

Digital Content
More …
For history, description, and reproductions, see M. W. Stirling, "Three Pictographic Autobiographies of Sitting Bull," SMC volume 97, number 5, Washington, D. C., 1938, pages 25-48.

Using the Collection
Manuscript 1929-b, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pictographs -- Lakota Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledger drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsclippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hunkpapa Lakota (Hunkpapa Sioux) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746