Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man (circa 1831–1890) known for his steadfast opposition to the intrusion of the US government into Sioux lands. Fleeing to Canada following the Battle of Little Big Horn, he later returned to the US and toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Fearing his growing influence, government agents fatally shot him during an arrest attempt at Standing Rock Agency on December 15, 1890. Extremely rare ink signature, “Sitting Bull,” on the reverse of an off-white 4.5 x 2.75 Randall House card. Accompanied by a handwritten letter of provenance from C. D. Pease explaining how he acquired the autograph, one page, both sides, 10 x 3, no date, but the envelope is postmarked June 14, 1912. Letter reads, in part (with grammar and spelling retained): “I am enclosing you a Card of the Randall House South Dakota & on the back of it is Old Sitting Bull (Indians) own signature written by him. My wife’s Bro was clerk in the fort at Randall at the time Sitting Bull was a prisoner there. & he learned Sittingbull to write his name. he always wrote it in this same style. I have had it 28 years. I did have Sittingbull’s Pipe & Tobacco pouch but some on[e] has gobbled them from me.” The signature and the letter are triple-cloth-matted and framed with the original mailing envelope and a portrait of Sitting Bull in an ornate headdress, to an overall size of 21.75 x 27.25. In fine condition, with a small circular stain to upper blank area and a bit of scattered light soiling, not at all affecting the boldness or legibility of the 3.5″ long signature. The frame is chipped and the backing is in need of some repair. Also included is a Sherwoods Spirit of America tag, one of America’s leading specialists in Native American artifacts and historic Americana. After Sitting Bull surrendered to federal forces at Fort Buford, he became a living representation of the Indian resistance. During his two years in captivity at Fort Randall, he achieved celebrity status as tourists and newspaper reporters flocked to see him. Arguably one of the most sought-after of all Western and Native American signatures. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.