Byron H. Gurnsey stereograph collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.359
Creators:
Gurnsey, B. H. (Byron H.), 1833-1880
Hamilton, C.L.
Hamilton, J. H. (James H.)
Dates:
1865-1870
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.05 Linear feet
9 Stereographs
Repository:
This collection consists of nine stereographic images depicting individuals from Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Nakota (Yankton Sioux), and Wahpetonwan Dakota (Wahpeton Sioux) communities in the vicinity of Sioux City, Iowa, between approximately 1865 and 1870.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Byron H. Gurnsey stereograph collection consists of nine stereographic images taken between approximately 1865 and 1870 near Sioux City, Iowa. The stereographic photos depict men and women from Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Nakota (Yankton Sioux), and Wahpetonwan Dakota (Wahpeton Sioux) communities, and include studio portraits as well as less formalized photographs shot outside of the studio on Native reservations. Some of the more notable photographs include images of Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) leaders Gray Wolf and Standing Buffalo.
While several of the images in this collection lack attribution or even list Charles L. Hamilton or his brother James H. Hamilton as the possible creators of these photographs, evidence points to Byron H. Gurnsey as the original photographer. The Hamilton brothers operated a photo studio in Sioux City at this time, as did Gurnsey, and after Gurnsey sold his studio in 1871 and relocated to Colorado, the Hamilton brothers continued to reproduce many of Gurnsey's photos with their own imprint.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged into folders by cultural group.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Byron H. Gurnsey was born in New York state in 1833. After serving with the Union Army from 1861 until 1866, Gurnsey set up a photo studio in Sioux City, Iowa, primarily photographing non-Native soldiers at local forts and Native communities living in the area around Sioux City. Partnering with W.H. Illingworth in Sioux City, Gurnsey shot studio portrait photographs of Native community members and delegations passing through the area on their way to and from Washington, DC. During this time Gurnsey reportedly advertised his photo studio as Sioux City's "Headquarters for Stereoscopic Views and Indian Pictures." On at least one occasion he also traveled to the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska to document the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) peoples living there.
In 1871 Gurnsey decided to sell his Sioux City photo studio along with many of his previous Native American portraiture shots to the brothers Charles L., James H., and Grant Hamilton, who also operated a photo studio in Sioux City. By the following year Gurnsey and his family were living in Colorado, where he set up photo studios first in Pueblo and then later in Colorado Springs. While living in Colorado for the remainder of his days, Gurnsey continued to take stereographic views of the local scenery and neighboring Native communities, much as he had done earlier in Iowa. Byron H. Gurnsey died in 1880, and his widow, Delilah Simpson Gurnsey, thereafter briefly operated his studio until approximately 1882.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Nathan Sowry, Reference Archivist, in 2020.
Author
Nathan Sowry
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift from the Historical Society of Washington, DC, in 2003.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Byron H. Gurnsey stereograph collection, NMAI.AC.359; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Byron H. Gurnsey, Charles L. Hamilton, and James H. Hamilton images of Native American communities photographed between approximately 1865 and 1870 in the vicinity of Sioux City, Iowa, exist in many archival collections throughout the U.S. and Europe, including in the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropological Archives, Newberry Library, the Library of Congress, and the British Museum in London.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Nakota (Yankton Sioux) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wahpetonwan Dakota (Wahpeton Sioux) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sioux City (Iowa) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stereographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland 20746-2863
nmaiarchives@si.edu
http://nmai.si.edu/explore/collections/archive/