A collection of glass plate negatives and prints collected by Major George W. Ingalls, a United States Indian agent, 1872-1875,
who worked among Paiute and other tribes in the American West, as well as among
Great Plains, Great Basin and Eastern tribes relegated to Indian Territory. Many of the photographs were made in the early
1870s, including several original wet-plate glass negatives made by Powell expedition photographer
John K. Hillers, and by Charles M. Bell. The collection illustrates Indian reform practices of the late 19th century, including
views of Indian children attending seminary schools; portraits of tribal leaders in western suits;
missionaries and churches in Indian Territory. There are also portraits of Indian delegates in Washington D.C.; portraits
taken at Council meetings; and early views of Reno, Nevada.
George W. Ingalls was born in Massachusetts in 1838. He became a member of the Baptist Church, and as a young man went to
Illinois, where he worked as a merchandise clerk and proprietor. He married Jennie Roberts
in 1866, with whom he had three children. In 1870, he was working as a life insurance agent in Springfield, Ill., while also
becoming increasingly involved in Indian affairs through the American Baptist Home
Mission Society. In 1872, President Grant appointed Ingalls U. S. Indian Agent for Nevada, Utah and Southeast California.
In 1873, he was made U.S. Special Indian Commissioner, along with John Wesley Powell,
to investigate the condition of the Indians of the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin. Ingalls, Powell and photographer John
K. Hillers travelled from Kanab to St. George and then to Las Vegas in the fall of 1873
to photograph Paiute Indians.
1,126 photographs in 36 boxes: 598 prints and copy prints, 475 glass negatives, and 53 copy transparencies + notes and ephemera
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