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About this collection

The Indian Congress was held from August 4 to October 31, 1898, in Omaha, Nebraska, in tandem with the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition. Taking place less than a decade after the end of the Indian Wars, the Indian Congress was the largest such gathering of Native American tribes to that date, bringing together over 500 Native Americans representing 35 different tribes. The Indian Congress was managed by Captain W. A. Mercer of the 8th U. S. Infantry, under the direction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. 

Omaha Public Library's Indian Congress collection consists of photographs that the official photographer of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, Frank A. Rinehart, and his assistant, Adolph Muhr, made of individual tribe members, their temporary lodgings, and the various scheduled events of the Congress. It was James Mooney, a Bureau of Ethnology ethnographer, who designed what was essentially a living exhibition of Native Americans, and it was he who contracted with Frank Rinehart to photograph the Indian delegates during the last week of the Congress.

 

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