1816-1916 Centennial Lot Fort Armstrong (Rock Island Arsenal)
This is a very scarce lot for an active participant in the Fort Armstrong Centennial Celebration June 18-24, 1916. White silk ribbon measures 7 1/2" tall overall, is in excellent condition and reads "1816-1916 - Ft. Armstrong Centennial - Guide - U.S.S.B.". The Button is 1 1/4" diameter and reads "Member - Honor League - Fort Armstrong Centennial - 1816-1916 - June 18-24".
I had a hard time figuring out what the U.S.S.B. was, until I stumbled across the article "Descendants of Black Hawk: Generations of Identity in Sauk Portraits" in the American Quarterly Magazine. The United Sunday School Band can be loosely described as a pack of young hooligans who dressed as Indians and whooped it up, engaged in digging up Indian graves searching for relics - even going so far as posing for photographs with Chief Black Hawk's skull. That allowed me to pair the Badges with this great Cabinet Photo from the same estate.
Original period 6"x8" Cabinet Photo is mounted on an approx. 8"x10" Matte. It depicts the United Sunday School Band in full Indian 'whoop it up and raise hell' regalia. Photo was likely taken by noted photographer John Hauberg, who documented Sauk and Meskwaki life as well as promoting the Fort Armstrong Centennial. He was known to have taken many photos of the U.S.S.B. at the time of the Centennial, with his glass negatives still in the archives of the John Hauberg Indian Museum in Rock Island, Illinois. An interesting and very scarce bit of Americana.
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