15 x 11 in. album with leather boards and gilt page edges containing 25 salt prints photographs by Joel Whitney. The first two are 7 x 9.25 in. prints of New Orleans, including one of dozens of steamboats loading cotton in New Orleans, and one of a New Orleans cemetery, followed by a photograph of the bridge over the Mississippi at St. Paul. Remaining photographs are Whitney’s famous studies of the Sioux Indians, many of whom were involved in the 1862 Sioux Uprising, as well as his images of the Chippewa and Winnebago peoples of Minnesota.
These images, which measure 3.5 x 4.5 in. to 5.5 x 7.5 in. – much larger than the CDV-sized images which are usually seen – include: a view of three Indians overlooking Minnehaha Falls; Ta-Tanka-Nazin (Standing Buffalo); Cut Nose; Ma-Za-Oo-Nie (The Little Bird Hunter); Paha-Uza-Tanka (The Great Scalp Taker); Han-Ye-Tu Was Te (Beautiful Night); Anpetu-Sapa-Win (Black Day Woman); Te-He-Do-Ne-Cha (One Who Forbids His House); and Old Bets, among several others, plus a view of Winnebago cherahs.
The new state of Minnesota was home to thousands of American Indians in 1862, many of whom were disenchanted with the government's promise for annuities. In August of that year, a number of the Dakota were starving; on the 18th, Indians at the Lower Agency attacked the white settlers there. Over the next few weeks hundreds of whites were killed, until the uprising was finally put down by Federal troops under the command of Henry Sibley. Whitney photographed a number of the Native American principals involved with the uprising. Cut Nose, for one, was charged with the murder of 18 women and children and five men, and admitted to the brutal murder of several settlers in response to the U.S. Army reneging on its treaty obligations. He was hanged with 37 other Dakota on December 26, 1862.
Joel Ellis Whitney (1822-1886) is considered Minnesota's finest pioneer photographer. He successfully operated his business in St. Paul during the years 1851-1871, before selling his studio and negatives to Charles Zimmerman, who in turn became the most prominent photographer in the state.