White Buffalo Head pictographic letter to Minimic
Digitized Content

Collection ID:
White Buffalo Head.
Minimic (Cheyenne)
Pratt, Richard Henry, 1840-1924
ca. 1877
Physical Description:
2 Items
leaves of drawings
graphite, colored pencil, and ink
20 x 27 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
From White Buffalo Head and family to his father, Minimic, then imprisoned at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. The letter, which spans two sheets of paper, is annotated with explanations provided by Richard H. Pratt. Shows White Buffalo, his father Minimic, members of Minimic's family and other Cheyennes. Also included is a map showing the North Canadian River and tributaries and neighboring trails, camps (identified by chief's name), the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency, fields identified by owners, etc. A legend, and a note, in the hand of Richard H. Pratt identifies elements of the drawing and its provenance. One leaf of paper has letterhead of Cheyenne and Arapaho, etc.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
White Buffalo Head's father, Minimic or Eagle Head, was a Cheyenne prisoner at Fort Marion, Florida. (USNM-P Volume I, 1878, page 204).
Biographical / Historical
Richard Henry Pratt (1840-1924) was a career Army officer, beginning as a soldier in the Civil War and participating in the Indian wars on the frontier. He was in charge of a group of seventy-two Indian prisoners at St. Augustine, Florida, 1875-78, and subsequently founded the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. For more information about Richard Henry Pratt, see his autobiography Battlefield and Classroom; Four Decades with the American Indian, 1867-1904, 1964, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 30,740
NAA INV 08500000
NAA INV 08500100

United States Indian Territory Darlington.
United States Oklahoma Darlington.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Manuscript 30,740, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Custodial History
Custodial History
The letter was collected and signed by "R.H. Pratt, 1st Lieutenant, 10th Cavalry, Fort Marion, June, 30, 1877." Letter Received by Minimic Under Cover from Agent John D. Miles at Indian Agency to Captain R. H. Pratt at Fort Marion. It is from a set of 12 drawings donated by Captain Richard Pratt. Three of the drawings are now in the NAA (MS 30,740, 30,747, and 30,750) and 8 are now in the Graphic Arts collection of the National Museum of American History. The location of the twelfth drawing is not known.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Language and languages -- Documentation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pictographs -- Cheyenne Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledger drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cheyenne Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Great Plains Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fort Marion artists Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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