The collection includes hand-colored glass lantern slides collected by Dr. Carlos Montezuma and used for his lectures on American Indian rights. Many of the photographs are portraits, some made at Ft. McDowell and Fort Apache. Other images show schools, reservations, dwellings, Charles Dickens (a Yavapai store owner), Montezuma's Castle, Casa Grande, and scenic views. A special series includes photographs made during a 1913 hunting and sightseeing trip that he organized, probably including photographs made by Montezuma's guests, John T. McCutcheon and Charles B. Gibson.
Some of the images were made by Charles (Carlos) Gentile, the photographer and benefactor of Montezuma in his early years. There are also several by Father Peter Paulus Prando and John N. Choate, and one portrait each by Napoleon Sarony and Matthew Brady. Otherwise, the photographers are unidentified.
Carlos Montezuma (1866-1923, also called Wassaja) was an American Indian activist and physician. He was a Yavapai Indian, though he often identified himself erroneously as Apache. He was captured by Pima Indians at a young age and sold in 1871 to Italian-immigrant and pioneer photographer Carlo (or Charles) Gentile, who adopted the child and took him to New York. Montezuma graduated from the University of Illinois (1884) and received his MD from the Chicago Medical College (1889). He developed a friendship with Richard Henry Pratt, head of the Carlisle Indian School, and took a post as reservation physician for the Bureau of Indian Services. During this time he developed an opposition to BIA policies and became an American Indian advocate, speaking out against reservations. He gave numerous lectures on American Indians at institutions around the United States, helped organize the Society of American Indians, and published a personal newsletter entitled Wassaja (1916-1922). In 1896, Montezuma established a medical practice in Chicago. He died in Arizona in 1923.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 73
Varying Form of Title:
Carlos Montezuma-Doris Collester Collection of Lantern Slides
The handwriting on the slides has been identified as that of Dr. Carlos Montezuma by John Larner, the editor of Montezumaʹs papers. Information in this catalog record has been taken from Cesare Marino, Solving the Mystery: The Carlos Montezuma-Doris Collester Collection of Lantern Slides in the NAA : Report of Background Research and Interview with Mrs. Doris Collester, Donor of the Carlos Montezuma Collection of Hand-tinted Lantern Slides to the Smithsonian Institution, conducted in Williamstown, West Virginia, August 2013.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Correspondence from Montezuma is held in the National Anthropological Archives in the records of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Carlos Montezuma's papers are held in the Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections; Arizona State University Libraries, Charles Trumbull Hayden Library; and University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections.
See others in:
Carlos Montezuma lantern slide collection relating to Arizona Indians, circa 1871-1913
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.