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Satanta at Fort Sill, maybe


Group of native men
"Part of Satanta's Kiowa Band" at the Fort Sill Sutler's store, 1872 (OHS).

This photograph depicts "part of Satanta's Kiowa Band at Sutler's Store, Fort Sill, Indian Territory" and is found at the Oklahoma Historical Society. The photographer is recorded as "W.P. Bliss, Fort Sill, Indian Territory, c.1872."


I believe that Satanta (Set’tainte) may be in this photo. He may be the large gentleman on the right. He is wearing the Presidential Medallion, obtained during the Medicine Lodge Peace Council in 1867. All known photographs of Satanta depict him with the medal.


However, the year of the photograph's publication confuses me.


By May of 1871, Satanta was imprisoned for his role in the Salt Creek Massacre (aka, the Warren Wagon Train Raid) in Texas. He was sentenced to hang by a jury in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas and spent 1872 at Huntsville. Paroled in 1873, he returned to Fort Sill. After apparently participating in more raids, was rearrested and returned to Huntsville, where he committed suicide in 1878.


This history leads me to believe that the photograph, if it indeed depicts Satanta, was taken in 1870 or 1871, possibly by William Soule, who was the camp photographer from 1869 to 1874. The listed photographer, W.P. Bliss, started his tenure around 1878 and may have printed Soule's photographs as his own.


Or, my assumption that Satanta is in the photograph is wrong; the year is incorrect; or the actual photographer is misidentified. Hey, it's happened before!


Satanta
Satanta of the Kiowa by William Soule, 1872. Note the medallion, which the man in the phtograph above is also wearing (OHS).

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