National Anthropological Archives

Guide to Anonymous drawings, possibly Lakota, on pages of book made of printed forms for Property Return, circa 1880-1884

Collection ID:
Brotherton, D. H. (David H.)
circa 1880-1884
Physical Description:
9 Drawings
graphite and colored pencil
10 x 9.5 inches

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of nine (9) Plains Indian drawings on the leaves of a book created by stitching together four folded sheets of printed forms, yielding eight leaves. One leaf has drawings on both sides, for a total of nine (9) drawings executed in graphite and colored pencil. The paper is unused forms for ration issue at Fort Peck, Montana, with the printed dated 188_. Some leaves are printed with the names of family heads to receive rations, rendered in both a Native language (not identified) and English.
Drawings are of intertribal warfare, the capture of horses, and a meeting between Brotherton and an Indian leader, identified in an inscription as Wetcohu or Wetcohee.
The authorship of the drawings is unknown. They appear to be by a single hand, whose work also appears in MS384176 and MS28804 "Anonymous Plains Indian Drawings, n.d." . The original identification as "Sioux," subsequently changed to the more specific Lakota, may be in error as the hair and attire of the Native man in the Brotherton image as well as other drawings is inconsistent with that tribe. Other possible tribal origins include Assiniboine, Arikara, and Crow, the latter two groups a source of Army scouts. The drawings can be dated to 1880-1884, the period of Brotherton's western service, based on the depiction of him in one image (384177 002), and the printed date of 188_. While the forms are from Fort Peck, Montana, Brotherton never served there. However, bands from several tribes once at Ft. Peck, including Assiniboine, Yanktonai, and Hunkpapa, subsequently passed through Ft. Buford during Brotherton's service there (Miller et al 2008).
References cited: Miller, David Reed, and Fort Peck Community College, eds. 2008 The History of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, 1800 - 2000. Poplar, Mont. : Helena, Mont: Fort Peck Community College ; Montana Historical Society Press.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
A chronology of D.H. Brotherton's military career was provided by Major General Edward F. Witsell of the War Department in a letter to John Ewers, SI, dated August 29, 1946:
"Brotherton who was on duty at Ft Snelling, Minn from 4 February 1880 to 13 July 1880, assumed command of Ft Buford, Dakota Territory 20 July 1880, and relinquished command of that post 30 August 1881. He assumed command of Ft Stevenson, D.T. 7 September 1881 and relinquished command of the post 20 October 1881."
War Dept Archives states:
Ft Snelling 12 June 1882 - 16 Jan 1884. Retired 14 April 1884. Died 17 September 1889. D.H. Brotherton accepted the surrender of Sitting Bull at Ft Buford, N. Dakota on July 17, 1881.

Custodial History
The drawings were received in 1946, as part of a collection assembled by David H. Brotherton during his military career. The material passed through several hands before reaching the museum, having gone from Brotherton to his widow, to her sister, and to the sister's daughter, Mrs. Thomas T. (Ruth) Brown, the donor. Materials were identified as to tribe primarily by museum staff, almost all as Sioux; a few evidently came with further identifying information. The collection consisted primarily of artifacts and was registered by the USNM as Accession 173740 and cataloged in the general Anthropology collection. In the 1970s materials on paper were transferred from the object collections of the Department of Anthropology to the National Anthropological Archives, including two sets of drawings (now MS 384176 and MS 384177), a series of photographic prints of American Indians (now part of Photo Lot 24, 00615600-00616100 and 00942600), and watercolors by Herman Stieffel, 5th Infantry, of events and locations in Kansas and Montana (now at Smithsonian American Art Museum).

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repostiory for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Anonymous drawings, possibly Lakota, on pages of book made of printed forms for Property Return (MS 384177), National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The National Anthropological Archives holds other drawings which may be by the same artist in MS 384176 and MS 28804.

More Information
Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 384177

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ledger drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lakota (Teton/Western Sioux) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
North America Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota Territory Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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