Peggy Albright Collection

Donor Name
Peggy Albright
Accession Number
John Ille
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Reproduction for non-profit and non-commercial purposes only with Peggy Albright’s permission.
Preferred Citation of Materials
The Peggy Albright Collection, Little Big Horn College Archives, Crow Agency, MT 59022.

Physical Description

Linear Feet
Comprehensive Dates
Copies of Richard Throssel Photographs, Newspaper Articles, Textual Research (primarily from the National Archives and Records Administration), Notes, Albright’s Correspondence, and Manuscript Copies.

Biographical Note

Peggy Albright is an independent scholar and journalist, whose focus is on Native American culture and history. Albright received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Master’s degree in journalism, both from the University of Wyoming. Her Master’s degree focused on the life and career of Native photographer Richard Throssel; this research led to the publication Crow Indian Photographer: The Work of Richard Throssel in 1997.

Albright presented her research in various forums after receiving her Master’s degree and before the publication of the book. She also received various fellowships to assist in the publication of her manuscript through the Wyoming Endowment for the Humanities and Humanities Montana. Albright held a variety of journalist and research positions in California prior to the publication of Crow Indian Photographer. Albright resides in Sebastopol, California.

Richard Throssel was born in Oregon to a family of Red River Metis who migrated West to pick hops in 1882. He engaged in numerous activities throughout his lifetime. Due to isolation from the Red River communities in North Dakota and Minnesota, Throssel self-identified himself as Wasco-Cree early in his life. He attended schools in Oregon while working in the Northwest hops fields. Shortly after the completion of his education, Throssel entered the Indian Service and arrived on the Crow Reservation to work as the clerk at the Agency in 1902.

Due to his indigenous background and progressive inclinations, Agent Samuel Reynolds held Throssel up as model of progress to Crows during the early reservation period. In 1906, a council of Crow elders adopted Richard and his brother Harry, who also worked at the Agency, into the Crow tribe under section six of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. The Throssels’ adoption created maelstrom of discontent among younger Crows, who objected to the allotting of choice reservation lands to them and the circumvention of the emerging business council model of governance on the reservation.

Despite the acrimony his adoption engendered, Throssel gained the goodwill of many Crows and took hundreds of photographs of Crows during and after his tenure at the Agency. Throssel initially learned photography shortly after his arrival on the reservation in 1902. His photographic skill improved greatly under the tutelage of Edward S. Curtis during the latter’s visit to the reservation in 1904. By 1908 Throssel’s proficiency behind the camera and his friendship with many Crows allowed him to contribute photographs to the Wannamaker-Dixon expedition.

In 1909, Throssel left his position as clerk at the Agency and served as field photographer for the Indian Service. He left the Indian Service in 1911, and soon embarked on a career as a full time professional photographer in Billings, Montana with great success. While Throssel focused on photography, he also dabbled in painting but never gained the acclaim he did as a photographer. Throssel continued his photography studio until his death in 1933. The importance of Throssel’s photographs is evidenced in the large collection of his photographs housed at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.

In 1916, Throssel gained his citizenship through a competency commission that visited the Crow reservation. With his citizenship in hand, Throssel successfully ran in Yellowstone County for a seat in the Montana legislature as a Republican in 1924. He served two terms before his defeat in 1928. Throssel continued his active participation in civic affairs and as photographer for the remainder of his life.


The materials included in the Peggy Albright collection reflect both the research and writing that culminated in the publication of Crow Indian Photographer: The Work of Richard Throssel in 1997. Prior to the collection’s donation to the Little Big Horn College Archives in 1998, the materials resided with Peggy Albright.


Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4 (Miscellaneous Material)