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Price Realized: $5,000 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2404 Lot 1
WITH PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN SHORTLY AFTER HER ESCAPE (AMERICAN INDIAN CAPTIVITY.) Family papers of Indian captive Jeanette DeCamp Sweet. More than 100 items in one box (0.8 linear feet), plus three larger framed items; various sizes and conditions. Vp, 1862-1999
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
In August 1862, the Sioux of southwestern Minnesota went on the offensive against the area's white settlers in what is known as the Dakota War or Sioux Outbreak. A young white woman named Jeanette DeCamp (1833-1920) and her three young sons were captured in the attack. Several months pregnant, she endured a forced march and, with the help of a sympathetic Indian, managed a daring escape with her children. After a harrowing month of captivity and flight, she and her three sons arrived back at Fort Ridgely, MN, only to learn that her husband had been killed during her absence. A fourth son, Benjamin, was born in Missouri just weeks after her arrival. She soon remarried to a minister, Rev. Josiah Sweet. Her memoir of the ordeal was published in the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1894.
Offered here are the papers of Jeanette DeCamp Sweet and five generations of her descendants. The key items are three early photographs. A tintype depicts (according to a description by her great-granddaughter) the recently rescued Jeanette DeCamp Sweet with her baby son Benjamin in 1863. An albumen carte-de-visite photograph by a Missouri photographer depicts her two eldest boys, Wellington and Warren; the early caption on verso declares that it was taken "just after their release from captivity in 1862." Finally is a carte-de-visite of two Indians, captioned on verso "Shakopee & Medicine Bottle, Sioux Indians." The connection to the DeCamps is uncertain, though a modern caption on verso asserts that "these are the good Indians who took Grandmother Sweet & her boys down river to Fort Ridgely." Also included are her scrapbook kept from circa 1906-16 containing several clippings about the capture and her subsequent life; and a heavily worn volume of the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, inscribed to her by the Society and containing her narrative.
The later family papers include the 1892 marriage certificates of son Benjamin E. DeCamp * an unsigned watercolor portrait of a pipe-smoking Indian * Correspondence of Jeanette's son and grand-daughter in California, 1931-35 * World War II papers of her great-grandson * a genealogy book compiled by her great-great-granddaughter in 1990 * 2 wedding photographs signed by Edward Curtis, Los Angeles, circa 1941 * 18 other family photographs, most 19th century * a signed photograph of J. Edgar Hoover dated 1942 * and much more. An important family archive of a renowned captivity survivor.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $5,000