MS 7463 Book of Cheyenne drawings by Little Skunk and unknown Cheyenne artists, with correspondence concerning drawings
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Little Skunk
Wernher, Adolf
Cushing, Frank Hamilton, 1857-1900
Knox, Philander C. (Philander Chase), 1853-1921
ca. 1878-1902
Physical Description:
1 Item
hard-bound volume of 89 drawings (152 pages+flyleaves+covers+3 leaves inserted) in slipcase
graphite and colored pencil on ruled paper
14 x 21 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Bound notebook of ruled paper with 89 drawings, primarily scenes of warfare. The drawings are the work of several different artists and depict battles with several different tribes as well as with White civilians and Army troops. Slip case embossed with title "Outbreak of the Cheyenne Indians 1878. Sign Language Written by the Chief 'Little Skunk'." Three letters regarding history and identification of the book inserted. One insert, a note dated September 10, 1892, and signed by A. Wernher, states "this book was presented to me in 1879 by Hermann Hauser of the Q. Mr. Dept. at Fort Reno, Ind. Terr. Hauser was affiliated by marriage to the Cheyenne tribe of Indians and assured me that the book represented in sign language (i.e. drawings) the outbreak of the Cheyenne Indians at Fort Reno Ind Terry and their raid through Kansas to the North in 1878, written by the Cheyenne Indian "Little Skunk." Another insert is a letter dated February 2, 1897, written by Frank Hamilton Cushing returning the book to a Colonel Cushing and asking to see it again later. The third insert is a letter dated March 11, 1902, written by P. C. Knox to Colonel William C. Sanger with thanks for letting him see the book.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
P.C. Knox (1853-1921), author of one letter, was appointed Attorney General of the United States under the McKinley Administration and continued to serve until 1904 when he was appointed to a vacancy in the Senate. Knox was reelected to this position in 1905, resigning in 1909 to join the Cabinet under Taft's administration. For more information about P.C. Knox see Archibald Dodds' The Public Services of Philander Chase Knox, 1950, PhD. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. Col. William C. Sanger, to whom the letter is addressed, was appointed as Assistant Secretary of War in 1901.

Custodial History
The book was purchased by the Smithsonian from W.H. Kelly of Glasgow, Scotland in 1987. It was part of a collection of American Indian material, the remainder of which was accessioned into the artifact collection. Kelly could provide no information on the history of the materials, which he had acquired as discards from an auction house where he was employed some years previous. None of the other material appears to be Cheyenne.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 7463
OPPS SLIDE 22,227-22,297

Varying Form of Title
Varying Form of Title
Outbreak of the Cheyenne Indians, 1878 / sign language written by the Chief "Little Skunk"

Local Note
Local Note
The content of the images is not consistent with the accompanying identification that they depict the Northern Cheyenne outbreak of 1878. The names Little Skunk and Hermann Hauser do not appear in the index to the records of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency held at the Oklahoma Historical Society, but the latter's name appears as "Herman Hauser" in separate material at the Oklahoma Historical Society relating to Fort Reno.

United States Indian Territory Fort Reno.
United States Oklahoma Fort Reno.

Album Information
Album Information
MS 7463 001

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Researchers should use slides.
Manuscript 7463, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Military art and science -- Cheyenne Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Language and languages -- Documentation Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledger drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Great Plains Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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