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Collection 559 - Charles H. Barstow Scrapbook, 1879-1891

Creator: Barstow, C. H. (Charles H.), d. 1908

Provenance Note: Scrapbook created by Charles H. Barstow was donated to Special Collections by Jim Annin, Columbus, Montana on June 9, 1967.

Historical Note: Charles H. Barstow was born in Massachusetts sometime around 1850 and came west after his father died. He first traveled to Wichita, Kansas, but relocated to Montana after the summer of 1876. He became the chief clerk for the government agent at the Crow Indian reservation around 1878 and held the position for twenty years. Barstow became an active collector of Crow artifacts and is credited with encouraging members of the tribe to create "ledger art" drawings to preserve their history and culture. He was married to Susan Elizabeth Chandler, and the couple had at least one daughter, Elizabeth. Barstow died in Billings, Montana in February, 1908.

Content Description Note: The Barstow scrapbook was created by Charles H. Barstow specifically for his daughter, Elizabeth, and given to her on February 16, 1891. The book contains mostly mounted newspaper clippings, the majority of which deal with the Crow Indian tribe, or other Native Americans of the northern plains. Topics include: various controversies regarding the sale or leasing of Crow lands, particularly during the fall of 1887; the alleged malfeasance of Indian Agents H. J. Armstrong and Henry E. Williamson; crime; cattle ranching in the Crow reservation area; the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890 and events leading to it. There are also obituaries and social notices of persons in New England that were apparently friends or relatives of Barstow. Although the newspapers from which the clippings were taken are mostly unidentified, a few bear dates and titles written in pencil by Barstow.

Updated: 9/3/09