Friday, 4 July 2014

Old West Photo Friday: Apache Family

I've been thinking about my old home of Arizona lately and figured it was time to give you another Old West Photo Friday. This is an Apache band, probably an extended family, in 1873. They're in front of their wickiups, near Camp Apache, Arizona.
When this photograph was taken, the Apaches and U.S. Army were engaged in fierce fighting, with various Apache warrior bands fighting a guerrilla campaign against the thinly stretched U.S. forces. Reservations were one technique for breaking the Apache's independence.
Camp Apache had been founded as a reservation the year before. It was consolidated into the San Carlos Agency in 1876 when that agency assumed responsibility for the entire White Mountain Reservation. Camp Apache was renamed Fort Apache in 1879. The land is still a reservation today.
Here's a closeup of the two young people in the center.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Such a tragic time in our history.

D.G. Hudson said...

Those two centered figures may be women or at least the one on the left. There seem to be one or two white guys on the far left too. An arresting photo. Didn't know that you came from Arizona, an interesting part of the States IMO. (I'm from the States, too.)

The photo is also sad, as it reminds me of what happened to so many of the Indians. Do we treat them any better now?

Rita A. said...

Interesting. I wonder who the white man was.

Sean McLachlan said...

D.G.: I wasn't sure about that lefthand figure. It's hard to tell her age. And the person to the right could be a boy or a girl, since both kept their hair fairly long. I believe it's a boy, however.

Rita: Not sure. Perhaps the Indian agent? The photo was taken by a US War Department geographical survey, so perhaps it was a member of the expedition.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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