Skip to main content

As a public health precaution, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Please continue to check back frequently at or for updates. In the meantime, please explore our website, resource materials and online exhibitions. 

Hand colored photographs of drawings from Fort Reno Scout ledger, 1906

Fort Reno (Okla.) Scouts
Mooney, James 1861-1921
Evans, Neal W
Ledger drawings
Collection descriptions
Physical Description
13 photographs : hand colored ; 12 x 20 cm.-15 x 20 cm
Local number
NAA MS 2018
Cheyenne Indians
Indians of North America Great Plains
Fort Reno (located near present-day El Reno, Oklahoma) was a military camp established in 1874 to protect the personnel in charge of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency in Indian Territory. Besides overseeing the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation, Fort Reno personnel also assisted with extracting unauthorized settlements on Indian land prior to the 1889 land run and employed many American Indians as scouts. Between 1885 and 1895, Fort Reno employed Indian scouts to assist U.S. Soldiers patrolling reservations in Indian Territory. Many of these scouts also produced a wide variety of drawings. For more information about Fort Reno, see For more information on the Fort Reno Scouts see "Artists in Blue: The Indian Scouts of Fort Reno and Fort Supply" by Candace S. Greene, American Indian Art Magazine, Winter 1992: 50-57; and "Washee and the Indian Scouts of Fort Reno: Cheyenne and Arapaho Ledger Art at the End of the Nineteenth Century" by Bates, Kahn and Lanford, American Indian Art Magazine, Winter 2001:44-53, 87.
There are 139 drawings in the original manuscript, which Neal W. Evans, the post trader at Fort Reno, collected in 1887. The book measures 12 1/4 x 7 1/2 in., includes the work of several artists, contains some battle images but mostly courting or social scenes, and bears an inscription stating that the drawings were made by the scouts at Fort Reno and the battle images are from the wars of the 1860s. Mooney viewed this book in 1906 when it was in the possession of Neal Evans. For photo of ledger drawing and comparison photo with NAA's see correspondence August 30, 1982 PJF 82-1038.
Photographs of drawings from a ledger book, hand-colored in pencil, ink, and watercolor.
Drawings of warfare and courting. Original manuscript captions on drawings include Big Horse, Red Wolf, Bird Chief, Tall Red Bird, and Red Eagle. Photographs have hand-written numbers, apparently referring to pages in the original. One has a note by James Mooney on the reverse; "Cheyenne Pictures from Evans Cheyenne Picture Book 1906."
Cite as
Manuscript 2018, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Data Source
National Anthropological Archives
See more items in
Numbered manuscripts 1850s-1980s (some earlier)
Hand colored photographs of drawings from Fort Reno Scout ledger 1906
Usage conditions apply