Page 142 - Auction84-Book1
P. 142

 Henry Chee Dodge
   Henry L. Dodge was the Indian agent for the Navajo who Anaya respected, and he worked for him as an
interpreter. Dodge was the son of Governor Henry Dodge of Wisconsin and was a veteran of the Black Hawk War
with a checkered past and served in the military in 1847- 1849, then as quarter master and commissary agent until
1853, and then as agent for the Navajo until he was captured and killed by the Apaches in 1856. Some sources claim that he was told Anaya was his father by his mother and his aunt, while other sources note that Henry L. Dodge’s brother considered Chee Dodge to be his nephew and claim that Chee Dodge’s aunt said that his father was Henry L. Dodge.
If his father was Dodge, he is believed to have been born in 1857 having been conceived before his Dodge’s death. Sources saying Anaya was his father place his birth in 1860.
His mother was Bisnayanchi of the Coyote Pass clan. She too died when he was a young child. She left to try to find them food and disappeared during Colonel Kit Carson’s scorched earth campaign against the Navajo and the subsequent
The latter likely explains the specific design chosen to be carved on this revolver’s grip in 1907. The Navajo-Churro sheep had long been a major component of Navajo life.
They fit Dodge’s Mexican-Spanish and Navajo ancestry as well given the breed originated with the Spanish Churra sheep imported to Mexico centuries earlier. Dodge is said to have traveled frequently in relation to his various business ventures. Later, he was the chairman of the Navajo Business Council from 1922-1928 and the first chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council in 1923 to 1928. In these roles, he helped created some unity among the otherwise scattered Navajo and represented the tribe in negotiations relating to the oil found on Navajo lands resulting in the Indian Oil Act of 1927. He continued ranching and but lost 3/4 of his herd and thus much of his wealth when Commissioner John Collier of the Bureau of Indian Affairs forced the Navajo to reduce their sheep herds in the 1930s during the Great Depression due to erosion concerns. His wife Nanabah died in 1939. Dodge was re-elected as chairman in 1942 and vice-chairman in 1946 but died from pneumonia on January 7, 1947, in Ganado, Arizona, before acting in the latter role. His obituaries noted him as “the last chief of the Navajo.” He left behind an estate valued at $175,000. Over the years, Dodge had eight wives and six children. His son Thomas Henry Dodge was the 3rd Chairman of the Navajo Council serving 1932-1936 and also had a long career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Chee Dodge’s son Ben and daughter Annie both also served on the
“Long Walk of the Navajo” as the Navajo were tracked down by Colonel Kit Carson and his men and force marched from the Texas panhandle to Bosque Redondo. Over 200 women, children, and elders died from starvation and exposure during the forced marches, and another 3,500+ died in the camp. Bisnayanchi may have starved or have been captured or killed by Ute or New Mexican raiders who took advantage of the situation to enslave Navajo women and children.
With the loss of both of his parents at a young age, Dodge never knew even knew what year he was born and was raised by multiple Navajo families. At Bosque Redondo, he served as an interpreter when he was still a boy which set him on a path to be appointed by the U.S. government as a “Head Chief of the Navajo.”The Navajo were finally allowed to march home again in June of 1868 and began to rebuild the lives and herds. He worked as a translator for his uncle’s trading post and then as an official Navajo interpreter for the government. He is said to have helped smooth over multiple conflicts that could have led to bloodshed. In 1883, Dodge became the chief of the Navajo police. In 1884, he was appointed the head chief of the Navajo by the U.S. government and also photographed by Benjamin Wittick with another pearl handled Colt on his hip. By the 1890s, he had his own trading post and sheep ranch.
tribal council.
CONDITION: Excellent with 98% plus of the original silver plating remaining and exhibiting a mellow aged patina, crisp engraving throughout, light marks and scratches, strong original niter blue on the screws, and minimal overall wear. The grips are also excellent and have beautiful iridescent colors, minimal handling wear, and crisp carving. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: Henry Chee Dodge; Nanabah Dodge; Thomas H. Dodge; Jon B. Bonnell; Stanley Shapiro; Jim Fuguay; Mike Salisbury; Brad Witherell;
Dick Burdick; The Doug Ellison Collection. Estimate: 90,000 - 160,000

   140   141   142   143   144