Americana Fall 2002
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Stereoview cards, which pictured items in "3 dimensional style" when viewed through a hand-held stereoscope viewer, were quite the rage during the late 1800's. Among the thousands of scenes and views vividly brought to life through those miraculous cards, this unique example is certainly one of the most lurid we have ever come across. The stereoview pictures the scalp of Sioux Indian chief "Little Crow" as it dangles from a hanging frame designed to display it. This early style "oversized" stereoview card was one in a series of "Minnesota Views" published by the Zimmerman photographic studios, circa 1870, with a checklist of their offered scenes (including this one) printed on the reverse. Little Crow's name would have been a familiar one to residents of Minnesota during that time as he was a Santee Sioux chief who, in 1851, signed a treaty with the federal government, ceding nearly all his people's territory in Minnesota. Though not happy with the agreement, he abided by it for many years. But in 1862, goaded by militants in his tribal council and angered at the delay in some federal payments to the Sioux, he launched a war against white settlements, which resulted in the pillaging of many farms and the deaths of more than a thousand whites. The uprising was quickly put down, and Little Crow fled to Canada with some of his followers. He soon returned to Minnesota, where he was eventually killed by a settler in 1863 while foraging for food in a forest outside of St. Paul. The card (7" x 4 1/4") exhibits some light surface wear as well as a few slight creases around the corners of the mount. Very Good to Excellent condition overall. An outstanding and rare early stereoview featuring one of the most controversial images ever displayed on a such a card.
Circa 1870 " Scalp of Little Crow " Stereoview Card
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