Dickinson Research Center Logo National Cowboy & Western Heritage Logo
Skip Navigation Links

Introduction

Scope & Content Note

Subject Terms

Processing Information

Copyright

Restrictions on Access

Preferred Citation

Container List

Series

Search the Library Catalog

Search the Image Archive Database

Guide to the Arthur M. Tinker Photographs

Girl's basketball team of Carson Indian School, Carson City, Nevada, ca. 1900. 2001.077.89 Box 1/Folder 1Arthur M. Tinker Photographs, 1898-1902
91 photographs, 0.4 cubic feet (1 photo binder box)
Location: 0316
Collection #: 067
Accession #: 2001.077

Introduction
Photographs taken on a wide variety of Indian agencies and reservations by amateur photographer and United States Indian Inspector Arthur M. Tinker, consisting primarily of scenes of Indian agency life between 1898 and 1902. Native Americans in the context of Indian agencies, schools, and reservations are the primary focus of the collection, but some also show Indian lifeways and material culture apart from an agency setting. Informal portraits of individuals and groups including school groups, tribal elders, tribal policemen, family groups, Indian agency officials, and children are also part of the collection. Some non-Indian photographs are included, primarily documenting buildings and other man-made structures.

Biography
Arthur M. Tinker was an amateur photographer and United States Indian Inspector for the Office of Indian Affairs in the late 19th century and early 20th century. As an Indian Inspector he served as a liaison between Washington and the field offices, reporting on the functioning of various Indian agencies. If problems were discovered inspectors were empowered to take testimony under oath and report to Washington about questionable practices or other issues. For example, in 1892 Tinker became involved with the question of whether Navajo Indians water supplies on designated reservation land were adequate and in 1898 he became embroiled in a controversy with the Ojibwe at Leech Lake, Minnesota over a man who was accused of selling whiskey on the reservation. Tinker’s work took him to agencies, reservations, and schools in many parts of the country including Arizona, Indian Territory, Montana, North and South Dakota, Nevada, and Minnesota.

In addition to his duties as Indian Inspector, Tinker was also an amateur photographer, who used an early portable camera called the Folding Pocket Kodak camera. The camera used roll film rather than photographic plates. The images from this camera, which constitute the bulk of the collection, measure 2.25 x 3.25 inches and are affixed to 4 x 5 inch mounts embossed with the Folding Pocket Kodak name. Tinker used his camera to document Indian life and material culture, with a particular emphasis on Indian interactions with agencies, schools, police, and other governmental authorities.

Sources:
Boxcameras.com. "Eastman Kodak, No. 1A Folding Pocket Kodak Camera, 1899-1905," http://www.boxcameras.com/no1afpk.html. (Accessed June 22, 2004)
Dobrahner, Lesanna. "Leech Lake Indian Wars," http://www.farmington.k12.mn.us/ intrview/ldleech.htm. (Accessed June 22, 2004)
Sturtevant, William C. "Nineteenth Century United States Government Agencies." Handbook of North American Indians: History of Indian-White Relations, Vol. 4. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1988
University of Arizona Library. "Agreement with Navajo Indians." Native American Water Rights. http://water.library.arizona.edu/body.1_div.10.html. (Accessed June 22, 2004)

Scope & Content Note  

The collection is arranged in two series, American Indians and Structures and Landscapes. The ink stamp “Arthur M. Tinker” appears on the verso of each print or mount. In some cases, the photographs were apparently stacked shortly after stamping resulting in ink staining to the front of some photographs. Some photographic mounts have damaged corners and some have been trimmed. Most of the images are sharp and crisp, although some have faded significantly. Some collection photographs are albumen prints and some are gelatin silver prints; the gelatin silver prints are darker while the albumen prints are more faded. All but seven of the images are mounted photographs taken with a Folding Pocket Kodak camera. In the container list, Tinker’s captions have been used when available, but otherwise a short, descriptive statement about image content has been used. Where Tinker uses the word “squaw” the word “woman” has been substituted. In addition to this finding aid, more detailed information about each photograph is available in the Research Center database.

Series 1: American Indians (1898-1902)
This series includes 85 images of Native American life and material culture at the turn of the 20th century as photographed by Indian Inspector Arthur Tinker. The American Indians series is further arranged into subseries by agency or school. Tinker has provided captions with location and other information, written in fountain pen or pencil, for 37 photographs, other locations have been determined by clues in the images themselves. Some images cannot be connected with a particular agency, school, or other location and these subseries are designated by more generic terms such as “Plains Indians” or “Southwestern Indians.” Note that a single photograph represents some agencies and tribal groups.

The series includes both posed and candid photographs. All photographs are taken outdoors in natural light. Some photographic subjects are named in the captions. The images primarily document Native Americans in the context of Indian agencies, schools, and reservations, but some also show Indian lifeways and material culture apart from an agency setting. Additionally, both the natural and built landscapes of the visited agencies and reservations are documented in these images. One of the striking aspects of the collection is that it documents a number of geographically diverse tribal groups in a very compressed time frame (four years), which allows a comparison of the lifeways and material culture of many different groups at approximately the same time.

images include informal portraits of individuals and groups such as school groups, tribal elders, tribal policemen, family groups, Indian agency officials, and children. Named individuals include Crow ledger artist Deaf Bull; White Swan, Major Marcus Reno’s scout at Little Big Horn; and Cheyenne River Agency policeman Straight Head. Traditional clothing, headgear, and jewelry are shown in a number of photographs as well as activities such as grinding grain and using a burden basket. Several kinds of Indian school uniforms and other non-traditional clothing are also shown. Other photographs show a specific activity related to agency operation such as the issuance of agency beef, including a sequence of eight photographs documenting a communal steer butchering. Another group of photographs shows an outdoor gathering or event in a Plains Indian community with people wearing an interesting mixture of traditional and Victorian clothing. Agency buildings are another focus of the collection including houses, schools, trading posts, and street scenes, as well as landmarks like the Standing Rock monument at the Standing Rock Agency. Traditional Indian dwellings such as tipis, hogans, Pima ki structures, and what appear to be Apache wikiups are also featured.

Series 2: Structures and Landscapes (ca. 1900)
This series includes six photographs of various structures not obviously connected with an Indian agency or reservation and one landscape photograph. Included are two photographs of stone or adobe structures that might be from a Southwestern Indian agency, but the photograph does not specifically indicate this. Civil engineering structures are the subject of three other photographs including two images of an earthen dam and a photograph of three persons inspecting a flume near Carson City, Nevada. The final photograph is of an unidentified rock outcropping.

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Deaf Bull
Little No Heart
Perrault, Joseph E.
Red Blanket
Robinson, Norman W.
Straight Head
Tinker, Arthur M.
White Ghost
White Swan, (Crow warrior), 1851 or 2-1904

Corporate Names:
Carson Indian School (Carson City, Nev.)
United States-Office of Indian Affairs
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Cheyenne Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Crow Creek and Lower Brulé Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Crow Indian Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Leech Lake Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Navajo Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Pawnee Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Potawatomi Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Red Lake Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-Standing Rock Agency
United States-Office of Indian Affairs-White Earth Agency

Subject Headings:
Crow Indians-Montana
Group portraits
Hairstyles
Headgear
Hogans-Arizona
Indians of North America-Clothing
Indians of North America-Dwellings
Indians of North America-Jewelry
Landscape photographs
Mohave Indians-Arizona
Navajo Indians-Arizona
Ojibwa Indians-Minnesota
Pawnee Indians-Oklahoma
Photographers
Pima Indians-Arizona
Portrait photographs
Potawatomi Indians-Kansas
Siouan Indians-North Dakota
Siouan Indians-South Dakota
Slaughtering and slaughter-houses
Tipis
Yanktonai Indians-South Dakota

Processing Information  

The collection was purchased in December 2001, entered into the Research Center database by Charles Rand in early 2002, and processed by Jonathan Nelson in June 2004.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The Arthur M. Tinker Photographs is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

Arthur M. Tinker Photographs, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List  

Series 1: American Indians, 1898-1902
Box/Folder # Folder Title/Description
Carson Indian School, Nevada
001/001 Basket ball Team of Carson School, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.89]
Cheyenne River Agency, South Dakota
001/002 Cheyenne River Agency, S. D. June 1899, Norman W. Robinson Asst. Clerk Getting Evidence, 1899 [1] [2001.077.57]
Issue Day, Cheyenne River Agency, S. D., Indian Taking Home His Beef, June 1899, 1899 [1] [2001.077.40]
Little No Heart, Chief, Two Kettle Band Sioux, Cheyenne River Agency, S. D., ca. 1899 [1] [2001.077.83]
001/003 Sioux Chief, Cherry Creek, Cheyenne River River [sic] S. D., June 1899, 1899 [1] [2001.077.82]
Sioux Indian from Cherry Creek, Cheyenne River Agency, S. D., June 1899, 1899 [1] [2001.077.81]
Straight Head, Lieut. Police, the Man Who Killed William Fielder, Cheyenne River Agency, S. D., June 1899, 1899 [1] [2001.077.84]
Colorado River Agency, Arizona
001/004 Issue Day, Mohave Indians, Colorado River Agency, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.91]
Crow Creek Agency, South Dakota
001/005 Annuity Issue Day at Crow Creek Agency, S. D., [Women] Waiting to be Called, Dec. 1898, 1898 [1] [2001.077.26]
Chief White Ghost, Sioux Crow Creek Agency, Nov. 1898, 1898 [1] [2001.077.78]
Policeman, Crow Creek Agency, Nov. 1898, 1898 [1] [2001.077.77]
Crow Indian Agency, Montana
001/006 Deaf Bull, June 1899, Crow Agency, Montana, 1899 [1] [2001.077.41]
White Swan, Reno's Scout, Crow Indian, Crow Agency, Montana, 1899 [1] [2001.077.79]
A Young Crow, June 1899, Crow Agency, Montana, 1899 [1] [2001.077.67]
Leech Lake Agency, Minnesota
001/007 Gay-gwa-way-vin-ung, "Red Blanket," Leech Lake, Oct. 1898, 1898 [1] [2001.077.80]
Navajo Indian Agencies and Reservation, Arizona
001/008 Adobe hogan showing entryway and support beams, ca. 1900 [1]
Agent's House, Navajo Agency, 1902 [1] [2001.077.05]
Bearded possible government agent standing beside elderly Indian man on boardwalk, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.51]
001/009 Bearded possible government agent standing beside Indian man wearing necklace, on boardwalk, ca. 1902 [1] [2001.077.53]
Day's Trading Store, Chin Lee [Chinle], Navajo Reservation, Nov. 1902, 1902 [1] [2001.077.08]
Indian man atop horse holding coiled rope with craggy cliffs behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.72]
001/010 Indian woman on horse, perhaps packing a hide full of meat, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.61]
Indian women and children standing near building, ca. 1900 [1]
Indian women, children, and man in line near building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.30]
001/011 Indian women standing, waiting amidst cluttered background, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.36]
Large hogan of mud brick or adobe showing entryway, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.21]
Navajo Agency, 1902 [Group of Indians in street, in front of building], 1902 [1] [2001.077.03]
001/012 Navajo Agency, Hard Working Indians, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.33]
Navajo Agency, Nov. 1902 [Group of Indians in street, in front of building], 1902 [1] [2001.077.04]
Navajo Indian, 1902 [Elderly Navajo man behind rail fence], 1902 [1] [2001.077.06]
001/013 Navajo Indian, Chin Lee [Chinle] Valley, 1902 [1] [2001.077.10]
Navajo School Boys, Sweeping the Street, Navajo Agency Boarding School, 1902 [1] [2001.077.09]
Single elderly Indian man standing on boardwalk with buildings and streets behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.52]
001/014 Standing Indian woman blanketed, with bearded possible government agent standing nearby, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.54]
Two Indian women standing with back to dilapidated building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.42]
Young Indian man standing on boardwalk by support column, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.63]
Pawnee Indian Agency, Oklahoma Territory
001/015 Pawnee Father and Son, Pawnee School, 1902 [1] [2001.077.07]
Pawnee Indian, 1902 [Standing outdoor portrait of man], 1902 [1] [2001.077.76]
Pawnee School Boys, 1902, Cleaning the School Grounds, 1902 [1] [2001.077.02]
001/016 Small Boys, Pawnee School, Cleaning the School Grounds, 1902 [1] [2001.077.01]
Pima Indian Agency, Arizona
001/017 Pima Agency, Arizona, April 1902 [Mother & children standing about Pima ki dwelling], 1902 [1] [2001.077.88]
Pima Indians, April 1902 [Two Pima men at Agency], 1902 [1] [2001.077.87]
Pima [Woman], April 1902 [Carrying firewood in a burden basket], 1902 [1] [2001.077.86]
001/018 Pima [Woman] Grinding Wheat, April 1902, 1902 [1] [2001.077.85]
Sitting Indian woman with children, one hugging her from behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.23]
Standing Indian woman holding child, by fence, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.62]
Plains Indians
001/019 Butchering cattle, Group of Indian men surrounding and butchering cattle, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.44]
Butchering cattle, Indian men overlooking cattle butchering in corral, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.47]
Butchering cattle, Indian men preparing meat for transportation on wagons, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.48]
001/020 Butchering cattle, Indian women, men, children sitting on ground, backs to the corral fencing at butchering scene, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.49]
Butchering cattle, Indian women sitting on ground in circle watching butchering, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.46]
Butchering cattle, Indian women sitting on ground watching cattle butchering in corral, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.50]
001/021 Butchering cattle, Indians butchering cattle, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.43]
Butchering cattle, Solitary Indian man approaching dead steer to be butchered, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.45]
001/022 Event, Indian children in hats & coats in foreground, unidentified social event occurs in background, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.25]
Event, Indian women and children sitting on ground in circle at social event, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.24]
Event, Indian women and children sitting on ground in distance, tipis further in distance, social event, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.27]
001/023 Event, Indian women sitting on ground in circle with Indian cowboy standing in center, social event, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.28]
Scenes of everyday life, Horse teams and wagons, probably for beef issue day, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.38]
Scenes of everyday life, Indian children sitting on steps at front door of probable school building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.34]
001/024 Scenes of everyday life, Indian man posed on horse with three other riders behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.70]
Scenes of everyday life, Indian man standing beside carriage with two women in back, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.39]
Scenes of everyday life, Indian policeman posed on horse in front of log building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.68]
001/025 Scenes of everyday life, Nine Indians on horses behind a buckboard wagon with one standing in front, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.32]
Scenes of everyday life, Standing Indian man with hands on hips as young boy looks on behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.69]
Scenes of everyday life, Three Indian men near possible telegraph pole, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.35]
Pottawatomie Indian Agency (Prairie Band), Kansas
001/026 Pottawatomie Boarding School Boys, Nov. 1899 [1] [2001.077.65]
Pottawatomie [Women] Waiting for Annuity Payments to begin, Nov. 1899, 1899 [1] [2001.077.37]
Red Lake Agency, Minnesota
001/027 Chippewa Boys, Red Lake, Sept. 1898 [Two Ojibwe boys with canoe and tipi], 1898 [1] [2001.077.66]
Southwestern Indians
001/028 Elderly Indian woman standing behind child on boardwalk, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.59]
Indian man standing on snow-covered boardwalk in front of building near window, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.73]
Indian woman handing something to possible agent with horse and carriage behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.56]
001/029 Indian woman carrying sack of goods with her head, horse team and carriage behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.31]
Sitting Indian woman with burden basket on ground in front of building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.75]
Standing blanketed Indian woman in profile toting burden basket and opening a can, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.74]
001/030 Standing elderly Indian man wearing necklace with fence and rocky hill behind, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.71]
Two young Indian boys getting water at well pipe/faucet, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.64]
Two young Indian boys standing and holding hands, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.60]
Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota
001/031 Standing Rock, Standing Rock Agency, N. D., ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.22]
White Earth Agency, Minnesota
001/032 Jos. E. Perrault "Farmer" White Earth, Chippewa, Oct. 1898, 1898 [1] [2001.077.55]
Unidentified Indian Dwellings and Portrait
001/033 Possible Apache wikiup, canvas and grasses with traces of snow on the ground, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.16]
Possible Apache wikiup covered with canvas, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.20]
Possible Apache wikiup frame, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.18]
001/034 Possible Apache wikiup made of sticks, branches, shrubbery and girdled by cloth or canvas, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.19]
Sitting Indian woman with child on lap, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.58]
Series 2: Structures and Landscapes, ca. 1900
Box/Folder # Folder Title/Description
001/036 Flat-roofed building made of stone with bars on windows, perhaps a jail, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.11]
001/035 The Flume Near Carson [City, Nevada], ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.90]
001/036 Mules standing by adobe building, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.12]
001/037 Possible dam construction, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.14]
Possible section of a dam, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.13]
Rock outcropping, ca. 1900 [1] [2001.077.15]
Dickinson Research Center
at the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 478-2250
Copyright © 2017 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum