Exceptionally rare and historically important, original 1880's Albumen Cabinet Card Photograph of African American U. Cavalry Chief of Scouts John Glass and his Native American, Apache Indian wife taken by photographer Andrew Miller at Fort Apache, Arizona Territory during the late period of the Apache Wars when Geronimo surrendered to General George Cook. This Image is an important documentation of the part played by African Americans in the history of the American West and this image is oft reprinted in books and publications related to blacks in the American West.
This wonderful and exceptionally rare, period Card Mount, Albumen Photograph is titled in the negative Glass, Chief of Scouts and wife, Ft. 4 by 6 1/4 and is mounted on its original Card Mount (overall size is 4 1/4 by 6 1/2). This is a studio portrait of the African American Chief of Scouts seated on a log and his beautiful Native American wife standing next to him. Although the Photograph is mounted over the photographer's credits the make of the photographer - Andrew Miller of Globe, Arizona Territory - is still readable.
We have been researching this important image for quite some time here and are somewhat perplexed. We found some information about a Black Cavalry Officer by the name John Glass who was Chief of Scouts at Fort Apache in the mid 1880's. Portraits show this "John Glass" as being the man pictured in this Cabinet card. Cavalry Lieutenant John Nelson Glass who graduated from West Point in 1878 and was assigned to the 10th Cavalry of Buffalo Soldiers and later transferred to the 6th Cavalry. Surviving letters place John Nelson Glass at Fort Apache in 1884 around the time this photograph was taken and his obituary states that at various times...
He was in command of Indian scouts in the field. What we have not been able to determine is whether John Nelson Glass was an African American. We know that the first black cadet to graduate from West point was Henry Ossian Flipper in 1877 but we can find nothing confirming that the black man pictured here and Lieutenant John Nelson Glass are one in the same person.It seems near impossible that two officers named John Glass were serving at Fort Apache around the same time and that both commanded the Apache Scouts and that one was a white man and one a black man. Our gut tells us that this is West Point Graduate John Nelson Glass and we hope that someone reading this description will be able clear this up! One other piece of information of note is the fact that all of the other Cabinet cards from John Nelson Glass have pencil inscriptions on the reverse believed to be in his hand except for this Portrait of "Glass" and his wife and another portrait of just his wife - these are the only two Images that he did not feel it was necessary to identify or comment on in any way. Provenance: From the personal collection of West Point Graduate and United States 10th and 6th Cavalry Officer John Nelson Glass. John Nelson Glass graduated from West Point in 1878, after which he served with the 10th Cavalry of Buffalo Soldiers and then the Sixth Cavalry in the Arizona and New Mexico Territories during the Indian Wars.
Surviving letters put him in Fort Apache in 1884. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. We have been trying to determine is John Nelson Glass was an African American and if he was the same black man named "John Glass" who served as Chief of the Apache Scouts at Fort Apache in the mid 1880's.Any help unraveling this mystery would be greatly appreciated! This exceptionally rare and historically important, Cabinet Card Photograph is in very good condition. The Photograph exhibits sharp focus, strong contrast and rich tonality. There is some water staining along the top edge and at the top of the right hand edge and there is a 1/2 scratch to the left of John Glass' face. The mount has some soiling and edge wear.
We have uncovered a single known example of this wonderful Cabinet card which is in the collection of Steve Turner (that image lacks photographer's credits) and we could find no original examples in any Library or Museum collection. We believe the Cabinet Card to be Exceptionally rare! An exceptionally rare and historically important, original 1880's Albumen Cabinet Card Photograph of African American U, S, Cavalry Chief of Scouts John Glass and his Native American, Apache Indian wife and a fantastic addition to any collection!!Be sure to check out this sellers other auctions for a number of Native American Apache Indian Cabinet Card Photographs - including a C. The item "1880's INDIAN WARS BUFFALO SOLDIER & CHIEF OF APACHE SCOUTS CABINET CARD PHOTO" is in sale since Friday, May 13, 2016. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Indian Wars (1866-97)\Original Period Items". The seller is "walnutts" and is located in Brewster, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.