Black Hawk Ledger Provenance

Front Cover

Sold at auction, Sotheby's, Fine American Indian Art, New York, October 21, 1994, lot 174, property of Bessie C. Irvin Trust. Collected by William Edward Caton, Indian Trader at the Cheyenne Agency in Dakota, and bound in 1881. 76 pages. Statement bound into ledger book: Bound volume of INDIAN PICTURES DRAWN BY BLACK HAWK, CHIEF MEDICINE MAN OF THE SIOUX. This series of sketches by Black Hawk represents the incidents in a long dream which he had.*

"The winter of 1880-81 was a very severe one at the Cheyenne River Agency in Dakota. My father, William Edward Caton, was Indian Trader at the agency, having been appointed to this position in 1878. He was held in high esteem by the Indians and was their great friend. Black Hawk, Chief Medicine men of the Sioux was in great straits that winter, having several sq*aws** and numerous children dependent upon him. He had absolutely nothing, no food, and would not beg. Father knew his condition; he also knew that Black Hawk had had a wonderful dream. So he sent for him and asked him to make pictures of the dream, offering to furnish paper and pencils, and to give him 50 cents in trade at the store for each sheet he brought in. Father gave him what paper he had on hand, which was ordinary double foolscap, and ink and pencils. The Cheyenne was 30 miles north of Old Ft. Pierre. Father took the sheets to Minneapolis, and had them mounted and properly bound. Statement by Edith M. Teall (daughter of compiler W. E. Caton), Redlands, CA, August 21, 1932. A further note by Caton's grand-daughter adds that: * The series started as a dream story, and Mr. Caton began to write the explanations. This idea was not carried out.... Dorothy M. Caton, Carmel Valley, CA, 7/23/63

**There is an asterisk to break up this word, which is a racial slur, to acknowledge the harm of this word

Black Hawk
Document Info
Media: pencil, colored pencil
Dimensions: 16.25 * 10.25 inches
Total Plates: 82
Total Pages: 161
Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York
Image Source
Eugene and Claire Thaw Collection, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY