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Susette LaFlesche Tibbles

Susette LaFlesche Tibbles
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Jose Maria Mora, 1849 - 1926
Sitter
Susette LaFlesche Tibbles, 1854 - 26 May 1903
Date
c. 1879
Type
Photograph
Medium
Albumen silver print
Dimensions
Image/Sheet: 14 × 9.7cm (5 1/2 × 3 13/16")
Mount: 16.6 × 10.7 cm (6 9/16 × 4 3/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
NPG.2013.3
Exhibition Label
Born Bellevue, Nebraska
An important advocate of Native American rights, Susette LaFlesche Tibbles was raised on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska. She worked as a teacher before becoming involved in a study of social conditions among the Plains tribes. She was accompanied in this work by Thomas Tibbles, a newspaper editor whom she married in 1887. Galvanized by the terrible conditions she observed, “Bright Eyes,” as she came to be known, served as an expert witness and worked as an interpreter in court cases that Native peoples brought against the federal government. She also received widespread fame as an orator, speaking out about the lack of rights afforded tribes.
WS129s
Susette La Flesche Tibbles 1854–1903
In 1877, Susette La Flesche Tibbles witnessed the forced removal of the Ponca from Nebraska and the subsequent imprisonment of Ponca Chief Standing Bear, and others, who attempted to return to their homeland. Bilingual and bicultural, Tibbles served as an expert witness in the ensuing trial and also worked as an interpreter in other court cases that Native peoples brought against the federal government. Importantly, she testified during what became the landmark civil rights case of 1879, Standing Bear v. Crook, which ruled: “An Indian is a person within the meaning of the law of the United States.” Consequently, Native Americans were able to choose where they would live. Like other people of color, Native women did not have the privilege of a single- issue focus like suffrage. As activists, they lobbied strenuously to improve conditions on reservations and for U.S. citizenship, which was granted to them only in 1924.
José Maria Mora (1849–1926)
Albumen silver print, c. 1879
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Susette La Flesche Tibbles 1854–1903
En 1877, Susette La Flesche Tibbles presenció en Nebraska la extracción forzosa de los indígenas ponca y el subsiguiente encarcelamiento del jefe ponca Oso Parado junto a otros que intentaron regresar a su tierra natal. Siendo bilingüe y bicultural, Tibbles atestiguó como experta en el consiguiente juicio y también fue intérprete en otros casos presentados por los pueblos nativos contra el gobierno federal. Particularmente testificó en el histórico litigio de 1879 Standing Bear v. Crook, que estableció que: “Los indios son personas, según lo define la ley de Estados Unidos”. Esto implicaba que los indígenas podían decidir dónde vivir. Al igual que otras personas de color, las mujeres nativas no podían darse el lujo de dedicarse a una sola causa, como el sufragio. En cambio, cabildearon arduamente por mejorar las condiciones en las reservas y por lograr la ciudadanía estadounidense, que no se les concedió hasta 1924.
José María Mora (1849–1926)
Impresión en plata-albúmina, c. 1879
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Usage
Not determined