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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

  • File 1: Opening of Crow Reservation, newspaper articles, Billings Gazette, June-August, 1917 with notes
  • File 2: Thomas J. Walsh (Subject), articles, Montana: The Magazine of Western History, 1951, 1969
  • File 3: Opening of Crow Reservation, Committee on Indian Affairs and misc. documents and correspondence, 1917-1918 with Albright notes
  • File 4: Richard Throssel, index to letters, 1907-1939 (From Record Group 75, National Archives)
  • File 5: Miscellaneous papers and correspondence (From Record Group 75, Central Classified Files, Crow)
    • Fishing and Hunting, 1921-1931
    • Public Schools, Crow Reservation, 1924
    • Leasing of Land Allotments, Richard Throssel, 1912
  • File 6: Health Slides Project, papers and correspondence, 1910-1911
  • File 7: Adoption Dispute, documents and correspondence, 1908-1940
  • File 8: Citizenship, documents and correspondence
    • Ceremonies
    • Fee patent documents, 1916
  • File 9: Correspondence, Richard Throssel, received by Department of Interior, 1895-1905
  • File 10: Crow Reservation, reports, Department of the Interior, 1896-1905
  • File 11: Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1905-1922
  • File 12: Throssel Family History: Correspondence, Albright, with notes and materials, 1992-1996
    • Glenbow, Washington Museum
    • Hudson’s Bay County, Oregon Archives
  • File 13: Throssel Family History: Correspondence, Albright, with notes and materials, 1992-1996
    • Washington state (various), 1986-1991
    • Denver, 1985
    • St. Louis, 1992 (includes copy of Richard Throssel’s death certificate)
  • File 14: Throssel Family History: Miscellaneous materials, Oregon
    • Oregon Historical Society, 1883-1916
    • Oregon State Library, State Archives
    • James Sinclair Party, Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1984
  • File 15: Throssel Family History: Materials, Washington Historical Society, with Albright notes
  • File 16: Throssel Family History: Miscellaneous Materials
    • Throssel family photographs (photocopies from Wyoming)
    • Throssel obituary, Little Big Horn College Library, 1986
  • File 17: Documents and correspondence regarding Throssel, 1907-1936
    • Robert Yellowtail
    • U.S. Indian Service
  • File 18: Billings City Directories, 1912-1935, with Albright notes
  • File 19: Throssel Family History: Correspondence, Albright, 1993
    • Pierce County Library, Tacoma, Washington (includes photographs with negatives of Throssel family home, Roy, Wasington)
  • File 20: Government documents, Montana, 1918-1959
    • Property transactions
    • Death certificates
  • File 21: Miscellaneous, Montana Legislature
    • Throssel biographical sketch, 1925, 1927
    • Nomination forms, 1924-1928
  • File 22: Superintendents’ Annual Narrative Reports, 1910-1916
  • File 23: Superintendents’ Annual Narrative Reports, 1917-1927

Box 2

  • File 1: Dwight Bergeron, materials and correspondence
  • File 2: Legislative Assembly, 1927 session, notes and materials
  • File 3: Legislative Assembly, 1925 session, bills and laws, notes and materials
  • File 4: Society of American Indians, 1916-1920
  • File 5: McLaughlin Papers, 1916; guide to microfilm of McLaughlin papers
  • File 6: American Indian Journal
  • File 7: Throssel writings: misc. articles
  • File 8: Throssel writings: selected pages from the Absarokee Books
  • File 9: Throssel writings: stories, Indian themes
  • File 10: Throssel writings: interviews, Crow and Sioux
  • File 11: Throssel writings: manuscripts on traditions
  • File 12: Throssel writings: autobiography
  • File 13: Throssel writings: Throssel lantern slide commentary, 1914
  • File 14: Throssel writings: miscellaneous, American Heritage Center
  • File 15: Throssel writings: miscellaneous
    • Brochures
    • Professional Photography
  • File 16: Articles about Throssel, 1908-1933
  • File 17: Reference Service Slips, Smithsonian
  • File 18: Crow Reference Materials, Fred Voget
  • File 19: Lawsuit, Crow Tribe, plaintiff, 1927
  • File 20: Research Plans
    • Miscellaneous Notes, inquiries and searches
    • National Archives, notes on searches
    • Library of Congress, notes on searches
  • File 21: Joseph H. Sharp photograph, Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art
  • File 22: Correspondence and Materials, 1992
    • Northern Illinois University
    • Brigham Young University
    • Indiana University
  • File 23: Correspondence and Materials, Rod Slemmons, 1991
  • File 24: Correspondence, publishing, 1987-1995
  • File 25: Correspondence, Wendi Starr Brown, 1991
    • Research Findings
  • File 26: Correspondence, Vera Throssel
  • File 27: Correspondence, Dean Bear Claw
  • File 28: Correspondence, Mardell Plainfeather
  • File 29: Correspondence, Barney Old Coyote Jr.
  • File 30: Correspondence, miscellaneous

Box 3

  • File 1: First Draft of Manuscript, clean copy without photos, June 1994
  • File 2: House Journal of Nineteenth Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana (1923-1925); House Journal of Twentieth Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana (1927)
  • File 3: Manuscript, Final Draft
  • File 4: Materials on tuberculosis and diseases of the joints
  • File 5: Grant Materials, Little Big Horn College
  • File 6: Grant Materials, Wyoming Council for the Humanities
  • File 7: Grant Materials
  • File 8: Santa Rosa Junior College, Presentation Poster
  • File 9: Grant, Humanities Montana
  • File 10: Grant, Humanities Montana
  • File 11: Book Proposal, Graham Howe, New Mexico
  • File 12: Book Proposal, Henry Holt Company
  • File 13: Book Proposal, Nebraska Press
  • File 14: Newspaper Clippings, Billings Gazette
  • File 15: Correspondence and Materials, Frederick Hoxie
  • File 16: Manuscript, Copyedited Draft
  • File 17: Book Prospectus, submitted to Crow contributors

Box 4 (Miscellaneous Material)

  • File 1: Manuscript Copy, Donated to Little Big Horn College by Peggy Albright
  • File 2: Journal Article, “The Red Man”
  • File 3: Documents, Office of Indian Affairs (RG 75), National Archives, 1914-1917
  • File 4: Various Newspaper Articles
  • File 5: Various Newspaper Articles
  • File 6: Various Newspaper Articles
  • File 7: Various Newspaper Articles