White Bull Brochure

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The University of Oklahoma Libraries
Western History


The Autobiographical  Drawings of Chief White Bull:
Art as a Historical Source

This exhibit is based on the collaboration of a Minniconjou Sioux chief, White Bull, and a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, Walter S. Campbell, better known by his pen name, Stanley Vestal. White Bull (1849-1954) compiled a distinguished record in the warfare among Indians and between them and the U.S. Army in the 1860s and 1870s. He was the son of a Minniconjou chief and a Hunkpapa Sioux mother, who was a sister of the famed Sitting Bull.

White Bull had been the veritable prototype of a Sioux warrior. The life those Indians led put a premium on fighting ability. Nomads who hunted over a substantial part of the Northern Plains, their principal prey was the buffalo. The Sioux had seized their hunting grounds, and they held them by force of arms. They fought not only to exclude others, whether Indian or white, but also raided for horses.

On the left is the Sioux Indian chief White Bull talking with Walter Stanley Campbell, University of Oklahoma professor of English who wrote under the nom de plume Stanley Vestal.

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