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Title [Black Horse ledger] [manuscript]: [ca. 1877-1879]
Document Type Ledger Book; Art
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Cheyenne ledger book, probably illustrated between 1877 and 1879, containing drawings by Black Horse and other Cheyenne warrior artists of scenes of warfare, hunting, and courtship. The Black Horse ledger book forms part of the long tradition of the Plains Indians of chronicling their lives pictorially, first on buffalo hides, and later, between 1865 and 1935, on the blank pages of ledger books obtained from U.S. soldiers, traders, missionaries, and reservation employees. Warriors who fought in both the Northern and Southern Plains contributed drawings to this ledger, which depict Cheyenne attacks on Pawnee, Shoshone, Crow, and Snake Indians--both men and women; and encounters with white Army soldiers, and white settlers, some taking place inside houses, and possibly dating from 1878, when young men from Little Wolf and Morning Star’s people were raiding during the flight home from the south. Pages 22-23 contain a scene with caption "Cheyenne camp attacked at Powder River by soldiers (Mackenzies). Fall of 1876". Another drawing documents the 1874 attack near the Washita River on a wagon train under the escort of Major Lyman of the 5th Infantry. In addition to scenes of violent warfare, drawings of elk hunting and courtship are included.
Names Black Horse; Little Wolf; Morning Star; Lyman, Major
Places Washita River, Oklahoma, United States
Keywords art, observation, personal account, warriors, war, hunting, custom, culture, attack, armed forces, white settlers, social life, ledger art
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Great Plains, Great Basin
Additional Information

Title assigned by Cheyenne authority and Newberry scholar, Father Peter J. Powell, who believes that the warrior artist who drew the battle scene on p. 97--in which Black Horse is portrayed as the hero--as well as a great many other drawings in this ledger, may have been Black Horse himself. Powell notes that Black Horse is the only warrior identified in the ms. with a name glyph. Dates are based on textual references. There are 124 drawings and/or paintings, plus 2 incomplete pencil sketches on back endpaper, and front and back pastedowns; drawings are positioned horizontally on each page; drawn in different combinations of crayon pencil, crayon, watercolor wash, and graphite pencil, in blue, black, yellow, orange, green, pink, and light brown.

Imperfect: p. 25-26, 79-80, 109-110, 141-142, 163-164, 169-170, and 171-172 wanting. Ms. has been completely disbound; individual gatherings of 10-12 leaves have been sewn into 8 folders of heavy beige barrier board.

Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT oversize Ayer MS 3227
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue