[Darlington, Indian Territory. circa 1875]. Watercolor on paper, 15 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches. Signed in ink, at lower right, "Theodore Schauseil." Long horizontal closed tear across three- quarters of the length of the image, expertly mended on the verso with Japanese tissue. Scattered light staining and foxing, some chipping to outer margins. Shadow from two old tape repairs. About very good. Item #WRCAM55915
A striking, contemporary watercolor depiction of an early Native American mission school in Indian Territory, now present-day Oklahoma. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Mission School at the Darlington (Indian Territory) Agency was built by Orthodox Quakers with United States government funds in 1872. The schools were established to assimilate Native American young people into the mainstream of American life. This attractive watercolor shows the mission school after it had been retrofitted to accommodate the needs of Cheyenne children whose parents desired them to be separated from their Arapaho counterparts. As a result of this requeset, the administrators of the school built partitions down the middle of classrooms to separate the two tribes. In 1879, the present school was renamed the Arapaho Manual Labor and Boarding School, and an entirely new school opened for Cheyenne students at Caddo Springs. This is apparently the only known image of the original school at Darlington. Theodore Schauseil (1838-1920), was a classically trained artist. Born in Germany, he emigrated to the United States, and made his way to Texas following the Civil War. Convicted as an accomplice in a murder trial in Gainesville, Texas, he was pardoned and served as a scout with the 4th U.S. Cavalry at Fort Sill beginning in 1874. While there he worked for General Ranald McKenzie as an interpreter for the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches. The Native Americans in the area nicknamed him "Muley Chief" and Schauseil formed a friendship with Chief Kicking Bird. By the early 1880s, Schauseil's drafting skills led him to a job with Bolanz and Murphy, a prominent Dallas real estate and map publisher. While in Dallas Schauseil drafted notable maps of Texas and at least three separate official city maps of Dallas. Schauseil most likely painted the present image of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Mission School during his service with the cavalry in the mid-1870s. A unique contemporary image of an early Native American mission school by a noted German immigrant artist who also served as an interpreter in Indian Territory. Karen K. McKellips, "Educational Practices in Two Nineteenth Century American Indian Mission Schools" in JOURNAL OF AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION, Vol. 32, No. 1 (October 1992), pp.12-20. Ron Melugin, HEROES, SCOUNDRELS AND ANGELS: FAIRVIEW CEMETERY OF GAINESVILLE, TEXAS (Charleston: The History Press, 2010).