worked as a photographer at Fort Randall in 1865 and
1866. He was the brother of two other western photographers,
James H. Hamilton (who we have discussed earlier in
relation to the "Crazy Horse" [sic.] tintype)
and Grant Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton was born in Wayne County, Kentucky,
about 1837 and moved to Macon County, Missouri with
his family about 1841. During the Civil War, several
of the Hamilton brothers fled the violence. James
Hamilton settled in Omaha, Nebraska Territory where
he opened a studio by mid-1864. Meanwhile, his brother
C. L. Hamilton went up the Missouri River and was
taking photographs at Fort Randall by 1865.
of his known Indian portraits appear to have been
taken at the Yankton and Santee Agencies, located
near Fort Randall. He also produced a great series
of portraits of the officers and enlisted men of the
Sixth Iowa Cavalry stationed at Fort Randall.
L. Hamilton then became the post trader at Fort Randall,
from about 1866 until 1870. The 1870 census for Dakota
Territory shows Hamilton as post trader with his brother
Grant at the post as photographer.
do not know much of C. L. Hamilton after his time
at Fort Randall. He located his studio temporarily
in Sidney, Nebraska, in 1875 and then went on to the
Black Hills where he worked as a mine operator for
ten or fifteen years. I assume he died in the Black
Hills, but have not been able to find any record yet.
I have been collecting copies of his images with the
hopes of writing an article about his Indian portraits.