Tribal Leaders

Medicine Crow - Apsaroke, 1908

Medicine Crow—Apsaroke

Born in 1848. Medicine Crow was a member of the Newly Made Lodge clan and of the Lumpwood organization. At eighteen he fasted four days and three nights, when a spirit resembling a white man appeared and foretold the vanishing of the buffalo and the coming of many white men with cattle, horses, and steamboats.

Waihusiwa, a Zuni Kyaqimassi, 1903


Kyaqimassi (“House Chief”) is the title of the Shiwanni of the north, the most important of all Zuni priests. Waihusiwa spent the summer and fall of 1886 in the East with Franklin Hamilton Cushing, and became the narrator of Cushing’s Zuni Folk Tales. A highly spiritual man, he vehemently upheld the traditions of the native Zuni religion.


Red Cloud - Ogalala, 1907

Red Cloud—Ogalala

Born in 1822Red Cloud received his name in recognition of his bravery. He became a leader of his tribe after the battle at Fort Phil Kearny in 1866, at which he killed Captain Fetterman and eighty soldiers. In the following year he led a party of several thousand, in an attack on a wood-train at the same post, but was repulsed with great loss.

Shot in the Hand – Apsaroke, 1905

Shot in the Hand—Apsaroke

Shot in the Hand was born circa 1841. Through fasting trials he earned hawk-medicine status within his tribe. He prepared a powder of a hawk’s heart, sweet-grass, and green paint, which he alway consumed before going into battle. He was shot many times in his lifetime, and was most known for leading the battle against the Sioux on Pryor creek.



John Pierpont Morgan – Edward Steichen, 1903

John Pierpont Morgan

John Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged in 1901 with the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses, including Consolidated Steel and Wire Company, to form the United States Steel Corporation.

Morgan was a patron to photographer Edward S. Curtis, offering Curtis $75,000 in 1906, for a series on the American Indian. Curtis eventually published a 20-volume work entitled “The North American Indian.” Curtis went on to produce a motion picture In The Land Of The Head Hunters (1914), which was later restored in 1974 and re-released as In The Land Of The War Canoes. Curtis was also famous for a 1911 Magic Lantern slide show The Indian Picture Opera, which used his photos and original musical compositions by composer Henry F. Gilbert.

Theodore Roosevelt - Orotone

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858–January 6, 1919) was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909). He is noted for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, and his “cowboy” image and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party of 1912. Before becoming President, he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.

Born into a wealthy family, Roosevelt was a sickly child who suffered from asthma and stayed at home studying natural history. To compensate for his physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. Home schooled, he became a passionate student of nature. He attended Harvard, where he boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. Published in 1882, Roosevelt’s first historical book, The Naval War of 1812, established his professional reputation as a serious historian.  |  MORE >

E.H. Harriman

E. H. Harriman

E. H. Harriman (1848–1909) was a railroad executive, born in Hempstead, New York, the son of an Episcopal clergyman. He quit school at age 14 to take a job as an errand boy on Wall Street in New York City. His rise from that humble station was meteoric. By age 22, he was a member of the New York Stock Exchange. And, by age 33, he focused his energies on acquiring rail lines. At the time of his death Harriman controlled the Union Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the Saint Joseph and Grand Island, the Illinois Central, the Central of Georgia, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and the Wells Fargo Express Company.

In 1899, Harriman financed and accompanied a scientific expedition known as the Harriman Expedition to catalog the flora and fauna of the Alaska coastline from its lush southern panhandle to Prince William Sound. He organized a broad range of experts—arctic experts, botanists, biologists and zoologists, geologists and geographers, artists, photographers, ornithologists, and writers. Many distinguished scholars joined him where Edward Curtis and John Muir.  |  MORE >

The North American Indian

Foreword By Theodore Roosevelt

“In Mr. Curtis we have both an artist and a trained observer, whose pictures are pictures, not merely photographs; whose work has far more than mere accuracy, because it is truthful. All serious students are to be congratulated because he is putting his work in permanent form; for our generation offers the last chance for doing what Mr. Curtis has done. The Indian as he has hitherto been is on the point of passing away. His life has been lived under conditions thru which our own race past so many ages ago that not a vestige of their memory remains. It would be a veritable calamity if a vivid and truthful record of these conditions were not kept. No one man alone could preserve such a record in complete form. Others have worked in the past, and are working in the present, to preserve parts of the record; but Mr. Curtis, because of the singular combination of qualities with which he has been blest, and because of his extraordinary success in making and using his opportunities, has been able to do what no other man ever has done; what, as for as we can see, no other man could do. He is an artist who works out of doors and not in the closet. He is a close observer, whose qualities of mind and body fit him to make his observations out in the field, surrounded by the wild life he commemorates. He has lived on intimate terms with many different tribes of the mountains and the plains. He knows them as they bunt, as they travel, as they go about their various avocations on the march and in the camp. He knows their medicine men and sorcerers, their chiefs and warriors, their young men and maidens. He has not only seen their vigorous outward existence, but has caught glimpses, such as few white men ever catch, into that strange spiritual and mental life of theirs; from whose innermost recesses all white men are forever barred. Mr. Curtis in publishing this book is rendering a real and great service; a service not only to our people, but to the world of scholarship everywhere.”

—Theodore Roosevelt, October 1st, 1906