For an upcoming exhibition, which also touches the subject of 19th-century German traveler and writer Friedrich Gerstäcker (Fred Gerstaecker), I’m trying to shed some more light on a gathering he visited and described in one of his books. It is the council that took place in September 1867 at North Platte. In this connection, I do have a couple of questions:
1.) While I’m aware of the descriptions of that meeting by David Livingstone, which include references to Gerstaecker, I wanted to ask whether there is someone out there aware of other sources/references I might be missing?
2.) I found a picture which bears the caption „Oglala Lakota group with non-Native group at North Platte in central Nebraska - circa 1868“. The mentioned location, approximate date, and the assumption that the central Lakota figure holding the pipe could be Big Mouth led me to think that this photo might be one taken on that occasion. Therefore my question: Does anyone have more accurate/specific information or ideas about that image, and/or is someone aware of other verified images of that event?
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2021 2:56:53 GMT -5 by rainerha
from all accounts and newspaper articles I gathered, to me it is most likely that photographer John Carbutt took the above photo at North Platte on October 11, 1867, between 10 o'clock and noon. Then the train with Carbutt and all other passengers moved on towards Julesburg and Cheyenne. There is no absolute certainty, but this is what I think makes sense. The same applies to the identification of Big Mouth. He is mentioned in articles as the chief who met the tourage of Senator Thayer on that day.
Thank you so much for this highly informative answer!!! While it brings the picture into close connection with the council Gerstaecker described, it also makes clear that the photo is not of the event itself and from a time when Gerstaecker was no longer around. It also clarifies that my previous assumption, i. e. that Gerstaecker might be the one some four guys to the left of Big Mouth, has no foundation.
Therefore my question: Do you have, by any chance, knowledge of photos taken during the gathering at North Platte on September 19th/20th itself or from that trip?
Well, it was worth a try. Thanks for checking, Dietmar! Is that newspaper account accessible online? What was the context of the picture you identified? It must have been something important if they had a photographer with them...
Several newspapers organized an "editorial excursion" on board the Chicago & Northwestern and Union Pacific Railroad to the Rocky Mountains in September 1867. Dozens of journalists, politicians and wealthy people went with them. They made a halt in North Platte and Senator Sanders there made a speech addressed to Big Mouth and his assembled band.
Carbutt was with this excursion, as he was the previous year (October 1866) with the 'Excursion to the 100th Meridian'.
Last Edit: Apr 20, 2021 10:50:19 GMT -5 by Dietmar
I think "Senator Sanders" is actually Senator Alvin Saunders of Nebraska. I'm not sure whether the guy to the left of Big Mouth in the lower picture is General/Senator John M. Thayer. As far as I know, he was already a Nebraska senator when the picture was taken. So, it could be him.
Last Edit: May 13, 2021 2:47:47 GMT -5 by rainerha