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Little Hawk




Little Hawk by Daniel S. Mitchell

In some publications this man is identified as Little Wolf, Cheyenne. This question is at length debated in Gary Roberts article "In Search of Little Wolf" (Montana Magazine Summer 1978). Roberts makes clear they show not Little Wolf but Little Hawk. He states also that the original photographer is unclear, but most likely it must have been D.S. Mitchell. When the photos later were selled by Mitchell, McGowan & Co. they were clearly identified as Little Hawk.
Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

From Smithsonian Institute (SIRIS)
with Lt. Philo Clarke, taken by D.S. Mitchell

Both of these photographs with Little Hawk are indeed by D. S. Mitchell, taken in the fall of 1877 at the Red Cloud Agency. We do not have an exact date; could have been shortly before or shortly after their trip to Washington D.C. I will have to pull my delegation photographs to check, but I believe that Little Hawk also appears in a couple of the Washington D.C. photographs as well. He left the agency with the other northern Oglala in late 1877 or early 1888; he surrendered at Fort Keogh in 1880 and was transferred to Standing Rock in 1881; then to Pine Ridge in 1882.
The misidentification of the Little Hawk and Lt. Clark photograph as Little Wolf actually comes from Leslie Illustrated who wrote about the surrender of the Cheyenne Little Wolf to Clark in 1879. They took Mitchell's photograph and created an engraving of the image, labeling the Indian as Little Wolf. A little creative license for their readers! Regrettably, this misidentification has been repeated several times, most notably by Mari Sandoz. But the photograph is without a doubt of Little Hawk, 1877. — Ephriam Dickson

Little Hawk was born about 1836. His father was the holy man variously called Makes the Song, Crazy Horse I (and White Rabbit?), who was also the father of Worm (Crazy Horse II), who in turn became the father of the famous Crazy Horse (1840-77). Little Hawk was born to a different mother than Worm. Her name was Good Haired Otter Woman and she still lived in Little Hawk's household as late as 1881 (Sitting Bull Surrender Ledger - thanks, Ephriam!) and 1891 (Pine Ridge census). Depending on the census you read, she was born ca. 1801, 1809, 1812, or 1816.

By his early 30s Little Hawk became one of the headmen in the Hunkpatila band. With Yellow Eagle, joint leaders of a 45-lodge camp of Hunkpatila, he signed the Fort Laramie treaty early in June 1868. After the establishment of Red Cloud Agency in 1871 the Northern Oglala bands all split into agency and 'northern' factions. The Hunkpatila sub-bands led by Old Man Afraid of His Horse, Young Man Afraid of His Horse, and Tongue, all settled at the agency. Those sub-bands led by Yellow Eagle, Iron Crow/Jumping Shield, Little Hawk, and of course Crazy Horse, stayed in the north until the surrenders of 1877. I think that Little Hawk was named as one of the four Deciders (Wakicunze) in the Northern Oglala village in 1873, 1875, and 1877.

Little Hawk's wife in the census records is always listed as Sunk-ska-win, White Horse Woman (sometimes, by a bureaucratic misreading, as 'White House'). In the Pine Ridge Agency allotment records she is noted as a sister of Iron Hawk, who was the herald (eyapaha) in the Northern Oglala village in 1876 and 1877. According to He Dog's statement to H. Scudder Mekeel in 1931 (George E. Hyde papers in my collection) Iron Hawk was a son of the chief Smoke. A second He Dog interview (with Mari Sandoz also 1931) makes me think that Iron Hawk may actually have been an orphaned relative taken into Smoke's family - Smoke made a habit of this: consider his adoption of Red Cloud and siblings, children of his 'sister' Walks As She Thinks (who, new information from Red Cloud descendants indicates, was actually another adoptee into the family: in reality a Kiowa captive!).

Ephriam has dug out another detail from the allotment data: White Horse Woman stated that she was married to Little Hawk for thirty years before his death. This indicates that she was probably not the mother of Little Hawk's children born before ca. 1870. These included such 'sons' as Made an Enemy, Hard to Kill, Yellow Wolf, and Iron Tail (one of James R. Walker's informants and, most famously, chief of the Lakota contingent in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at the turn-of-the-century). White Horse was the mother of Little Hawk's children born after 1870 - including Chase in Morning, Many Cartridges, and Luke Little Hawk (also known as Hairless, or Bald: Pesla).

Because of the regular co-occurrence of Little Hawk's family and that of Standing Bull IV in rosters and censuses, there is a strong possibility that they were related by marriage: maybe Little Hawk's first wife was a sister of Standing Bull? The Standing Bull tiwahe were hereditary leaders within Hunkpatila.

I detailed Little Hawk's role in the Canada breakouts in 'We Belong to the North'. He surrendered at Ft Keogh in October 1880 as part of 44 Oglala lodges including Big Road. These people were subsequently steamboated to Ft Yates in 1881, and returned to Pine Ridge Agency in spring 1882 - as outlined by Ephriam in other threads and messages. After settling at Pine Ridge Little Hawk's camp broke up. He and most of his close relatives joined the Melt (or Spleen) band settled near the Holy Rosary Mission (modern Calico Community); other families joined the large Oyuhpe band community along Wounded Knee Creek.

Little Hawk's last occurrence in the Pine Ridge census is for 1899: he presumably died late that year or early 1900. Again, Ephriam supplied that detail from his amazing census concordance.

Re the 1877 delegation: a man named Little Hawk is included among the delegates from Spotted Tail Agency, nb not Red Cloud Agency. He is pictured in the big photograph taken in the Corcoran Gallery, and doesn't look like the Oglala Little Hawk. One of Brule chief Two Strikes's sons had the name Little Hawk - maybe the 1877 delegate is him. Curtis also photographed and interviewed a Brule Little Hawk - again maybe the same man, son of Two Strike. — Kingsley Bray

The Little Hawk in the 1877 delegation is Two Strike's son, a Brule, not the Oglala Little Hawk. The Brule Little Hawk appears in the Gardner photograph of the entire delegation and, I think, in the Brady group portrait of the Spotted Tail delegation (front row, second from right). The Brule Little Hawk was also photographed by John Anderson on several occasions, generally with his father Two Strike.

I am not certain I agree with you however as to when Little Hawk surrendered the second time. The report I have shows that Little Hawk surrendered in June 1880 and that Big Road surrenderd later in September 1880. This would suggest that the northern Hunkpatila Oglala came in seperate from the Oyuhpe Oglala. — Ephriam Dickson

The photo discussed above: Lakota Delegation to Washington (1877) with Little Hawk, Brule:

This bust portrait was cropped from a scan of the cover of the Indian hobbyist magazine SINGING WIRE vol.3, no. 6-1969. The cover picture was of four portraits by George W. Scott tacked to a board:

The full length image of Little Hawk is a scan from a photograph of illustration in an old western magazine from the 1960s. The original is evidently in the NMAI now. Probably by the same photographer of the bust:

Interestingly, the shirt and tobacco bag in these photos are now on display at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota. — Bob Brewer (buffaloman)

Delegation to Washington, October 14, 1888 under James McLaughlin, photographed on the steps of the Capitol Oct 14 1888. Fourth Row, Left to Right: Pine Ridge Delegation (All Oglala except two, as indicated) 1. Dog Back, Sun-Ka Tapetu, 2. Standing Soldier, 1st Lieut., Agency Police. 3. Yellow Bear, 4. Little Hawk, Ce-Tan Ci-Ka-La, 5. Little Wound, Ta-Opi Ci-Ka-La, 6. Little Chief, Cheyenne, 7. Pretty Lance (Good Lance), Wa-Kin-Kpe Wa-Ste, 8. Standing Elk, Cheyenne, 9. Fast Thunder, Wa-Kin-Yan Lu-Za-Han, 10. No Flesh, Co-Ni-Ca Wa-Ni-Ca, 11. American Horse, Wa-Si-Cun Ta-Shum-Ke, 12. Capt. George Sword (Indian Police), 13. Plenty Bears, Ma-To O-Ta, 14. Benjamin Rowland, Interpreter (for Cheyennes), 15. Philip Wells, Interpreter, 16. Col. H. D. Gallagher, Agent at Pine Ridge. (There were a number of Northern Cheyenne still living on Pine Ridge in 1888; Little Chief and Standing Elk were their head men. --H. H. A.) — bettomachado

From a group photo of the 1888 Sioux delegation to Washington: from left to right: Little Chief, Cheyenne; Little Hawk; Little Wound, Oglala.

I found an interesting detail about Little Hawk in John G. Bourke´s "On the Border with Crook". When Little Hawk and Crazy Horse surrendered in 1877 Bourke noticed "...Little Hawk wore pendent at his neck the silver medal given to his father at the Peace Conference on the North Platte, in 1817; it bore the effigy of President Monroe."
Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

Several accounts from 1877 mention Little Hawk's peace medal. In March 1877, he was part of the group that came in to talk to Colonel Nelson Miles at the Cantonment on the Tongue River, during which he mentioned that the peace medal had been presented to his grandfather; and that his grandfather had passed it along to him.

According to Prucha's book, the Monroe Peace Medal was distributed probably between 1820 and 1826. The only council I can think of that the Oglala participated in during this period was Atkinson's Treaty of 1825, signed with General Henry Atkinson and Indian AGent Benjamin O'Fallon in July 1825 on the Missouri River. Agent O'Fallon noted that he gave a total of six peace medals to the Sioux during the fiscal year 1824-25, though unfortunately, he did not record their names.

Nicholas Black Elk identified one of his great-grandfathers (Little Hawk's grandfather) as a man also named Black Elk. Appearing under the list of Oglala warriors who signed Atkinson's Treaty of 1825 is the name "Ek-hah-ka-sap-pa" or Black Elk.

So my guess is that Little Hawk received the medal from Black Elk from the 1825 Treaty. — Ephriam Dickson

One of Little Hawk's sons, Luke Little Hawk, known as Pesla, or Bald Head:

— Grahame Wood


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