Very Rare Ca1900 Fort Sill Indian Territory Cabinet Card Photograph / Photo
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Very Rare Ca1900 Fort Sill Indian Territory Cabinet Card Photograph / Photo:
Outstanding and very rare, original, ca1900 Cabinet Photograph of Fort Sill in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) by photographer William Irwin. This fantastic Cabinet Card Photo is titled in pencil on the back simply "Ft. Sill". While over the past 33+ years we have owned dozens of Photographs of Native American Indian camps and individual or group portraits taken by various Western Photographers in and around Ft. Sill, we have never seen (or even heard of for that matter) a view of the Fort itself anything like the Image offered here!!
The Photograph measures approx. 5 1/2" by 4" and is mounted on the original photographer's card mount (overall size of mount is 7 5/8" by 5 1/4"). It is a fantastic view taken from a somewhat elevated position (not easy to find in the flat plains surrounding Fort Sill) looking down into the parade field in the Post Quadrangle at Fort Sill. The central parade grounds are bordered by the beautiful, stone buildings, many of which survive to this day. The Card Mount is printed with the photographer's mark that reads "Irwin / Chickasha, Ind. Ter.".
The site of Fort Sill was staked out on 8 January 1869, by Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, who led a campaign into Indian Territory to stop hostile tribes from raiding border settlements in Texas and Kansas. Sheridan's massive winter campaign involved six cavalry regiments accompanied by frontier scouts such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Ben Clark and Jack Stilwell. Troops camped at the location of the new fort included the 7th Cavalry, the 19th Kansas Volunteers and the 10th Cavalry, a distinguished group of black "buffalo soldiers" who constructed many of the stone buildings still surrounding the old post quadrangle. The first post commander was Brevet Maj. Gen. Benjamin Grierson and the first Indian agent was Colonel Albert Gallatin Boone, grandson of Daniel Boone.
In June 1874, the Comanches, Kiowas and Southern Cheyennes went to war and the South Plains shook with the hoofbeats of Indian raiders. The resulting Red River War, which lasted a year, was a war of attrition involving relentless pursuit by converging military columns. Without a chance to graze their livestock and faced with a disappearance of the great buffalo herds, the tribes eventually surrendered. Quanah Parker and his Kwahadi Comanches were the last to abandon the struggle and their arrival at Fort Sill in June 1875, marked the end of Indian warfare on the south Plains.
In 1894, Geronimo and 341 other Chiricahua Apache prisoners of war were brought to Fort Sill, where they lived in villages scattered around the post. Geronimo and the other Apache prisoners had free range of Fort Sill. He was a member of Fort Sill's Native Scouts and is buried at Fort Sill.
Today, Fort Sill remains the only active Army installation of all the forts on the Southern Plains built during the Indian Wars. It is designated as a National Historic Landmark and serves as home of the United States Army Field Artillery School as well as the Marine Corps' site for Field Artillery MOS school, United States Army Air Defense Artillery School, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 75th Fires Brigade and the 214th Fires Brigade. Fort Sill is also one of the five locations for Army Basic Combat Training. Many of the original stone buildings which formed the border of the parade grounds and are seen in the Photograph offered here, still stand today as a testament to the days of the Indian Wars and early Peace.
The photographer, William E. Irwin was born in Red Oak, Missouri in 1871. It is believed he learned photography in Indian Territory or Texas in the early 1890s. Irwin operated photography studios first in Chickasha, Indian Territory, and later in Silver City and Bisbee, Arizona, where he operated a studio from 1904 to 1922. In 1922 he opened a studio in Douglas, Arizona, which he operated until his death in 1935. In the 1890s and early 1900s, Irwin produced a body of work that consisted of images documenting the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians who lived near Anadarko, Indian Territory and Fort Sill.
This very rare and very beautiful Cabinet Card photo is in excellent condition. The Photograph itself is exceptionally well preserved and in excellent to near mint condition - the focus is razor sharp, the contrast strong and the tonality rich and warm. Both the Photo and the Card Mount are clean and crisp with no soiling, staining, chipping, scuffing, tears, repairs or damage of any kind.
A very rare and beautiful, turn of the century, Cabinet Card Photograph of Fort Sill, Indian Territory by William E. Irwin and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
Be sure to check out this seller's other sales two other Native American Indian / Fort Sill Cabinet Card Photograph by William E. Irwin which are also being offered for sale this week on !!
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