As far as I know, the man in the second photograph (Big Foot and White Hawk) is Big Foot the Oglala and the picture was taken in occasion of the 1872 delegation to Washington. I don't remember Big Foot the Minneconjou being a delegate that year - does anybody have further information?
"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."
The Oglala Big Foot was part of Red Cloud´s Oglala delegation that visited Washington in 1872. Spotted Elk aka Big Foot, who was Mnicoujou and the (adopted) son of Lone Horn, visited Washington in 1875 and 1889.
However, I do have a question you might be able to help with.
In the first photo below of Big Foot (Oglala), his left hand seems to be deformed. However in the second photo below of Big Foot (Oglala) with White Hawk, his left hand seems to be normal size. Is there an explanation?
Last Edit: Apr 25, 2009 7:27:36 GMT -5 by Historian
"Be good, be kind, help each other." "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other." --Abe Conklin - Ponca/Osage, (1926-1995)
Actually in the top photo he moved his hand while the camera was exposing him. In those days you had to sit very still as it took a long time to fully expose the negative. He obviously changed positions so only where the position overlapped is the picture fully exposed. His hand is fine. We're just used to better technology today.
During the nineteenth century, there were a number of Lakota named Spotted Elk (Unpan Gleska or Hehaka Gleska, depending upon whether the name refers to a male or female elk). The early census records show that there was at least one individual by this name at Standing Rock, two at Cheyenne River, three on Pine Ridge and two on Rosebud. That is without even mentioning the Northern Cheyenne family who lived for a time among the Oglala. Add the number of different individuals who were known as Big Foot and we get considerable confusion about the various photographs.
Calvin Spotted Elk has recently started his own Facebook page and we have been discussing his genealogy with him. So perhaps it is time to revisit this issue. In this post, lets take one of the Pine Ridge Spotted Elks, the great grandfather of Calvin:
SPOTTED ELKHehaka Gleska (c1847-1908). Oglala. Later known as Dick Spotted Elk.
Born about 1847 or 1848, Dick Spotted Elk was the brother of She Elk Voice Walking and John Weasel Bear. According to one document in the possession of Calvin as well as his family's oral history, Dick was the son of the Minneconjou leader Spotted Elk/Big Foot, killed at Wounded Knee in 1890. Dick's mother was named Bear Don't Smell Like Fire. Scudder Mekeel, who visited the Pine Ridge Reservation in1930-31, interviewed a son of Dick Spotted Elk. His notes suggest that Dick was a brother of Big Foot. Further research may help resolve this possible confusion.
Dick Spotted Elk married his first wife, Follower, about 1877 and had four children. He married his second wife, Pretty Cow, about 1883, and had three children. Of his seven children, only three survived to adulthood and began families of their own.
Spotted Elk and his brothers do not appear in the census records for the Red Cloud Agency, Spotted Tail Agency or Cheyenne River Agency during the 1876-77 period. At this point, I do not know where they were at for the Great Sioux War.
The early Red Cloud/Pine Ridge Agency rations records are sketchy and only list the name of the head of household. What they do show is that by 1878-79, there were two men named Spotted Elk at Pine Ridge, one a southern Oglala in the Kiyuksa/Kuinyan band and a second in Red Dog's band. I suspect at this point that this second man is our Dick Spotted Elk, suggesting that he had moved to Pine Ridge about 1878-79. A third Oglala named Spotted Elk surrendered with the northern bands from Canada and was transferred to Pine Ridge in 1882. While I originally thought this might be Dick Spotted Elk, a closer comparison of the family recorded in the Sitting Bull Surrender Census with the later Pine Ridge Agency census records shows that this was not him.
The full census at Pine Ridge began in 1886 and all three brothers can be traced through the late nineteenth century census records. Dick Spotted Elk and Weasel Bear are listed in the Wagluhe or Loafer Band in the 1890 census; Elk Voice Walking in the Payabya Band.
Dick Spotted Elk died July 15, 1908. His three surviving sons -- Ernest, Howell and Jasper -- all received allotments northeast of Slim Buttes. Dick's brothers' children also received allotments in this area. By the 1930s, there was a community shown on reservation maps known as the Spotted Elk Community, in the area of these allotments. The Slim Butte community is shown to the south and the Loneman Community is shown to the north. I assume that it was built around the extended families of these three brothers. Jasper Spotted Elk appears to have emerged as the spokesman for the community by the 1930s.
I think our first clue to working out which Spotted Elk appears in the various photographs is to start with those taken by James Mooney. In 1892, he visited Pine Ridge as part of his research on the ghost dance where he photographed Spotted Elk and his family as well as Weasel Bear and his family.
Both are labeled Oglala. If you look closely, they are both taken at the exact same spot (compare lodges in the background). This would suggest to me that these images represent the two brothers, Dick Spotted Elk and John Weasel Bear, and their families.
Assuming that is true, then the image of Spotted Elk probably shows his first wife, Follower/Walking First/Ada Spotted Elk. The young girl may be either Brings Spotted/Edith Spotted Elk (c1879-1901), 12 years old in 1892, or Catches Enemy/Helen Spotted Elk (c1882-1900), 8 years old in 1892. The young boy is probably Ernest Spotted Elk (c1887-1940), who would have been about 3 years old when the photo was taken.
The image of John Weasel Bear shows his wife Her Good Horse and their son Surrounded, age 6 in 1892.
Now, assuming that this photograph is Dick Spotted Elk, wearing his presidential medal, you can compare this image to the 1891 delegation photographs of Spotted Elk. Looks like the same person to me. This would suggest that Dick Spotted Elk went to Washington, D.C. as a delegate in 1891.