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Martha A. Sandweiss
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)
One 1868 Photograph and a Sprawling History of the American West

Research and writing of a book exploring the lives of the government officials and young Lakota child who appear in Alexander Gardner’s famous photo of the treaty signing at Ft. Laramie in 1868.

Focusing on a single photograph by Alexander Gardner, made during the peace treaty negotiations at Ft. Laramie in 1868, this book follows 8 figures into and out of the picture frame where, for a brief moment, their stories collide. The personal lives of a slave-holding Union general, an immigrant photographer, and a Lakota child, lead us to a newly complicated story about the U. S. West in the 19th century, as people across the continent faced similar challenges shaped by violence, slavery, and shifting ideas about American citizenship.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; Native American Studies; U.S. History

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/31/2022