A Jewish Photographer’s Nearly Forgotten ‘Collaboration’ with Cheyenne Indians on the Santa Fe Trail

The Sole Surviving Image of the Perilous Journey Provides a Crucial Bridge to History

On a cold day in late November 1853, in a place called Big Timbers, in what is today southeastern Colorado, a Jewish photographer named Solomon Nunes Carvalho hoisted his ten-pound daguerreotype camera onto a tripod and aimed his lens at a pair of Cheyenne Indians. At first glance, the resulting image, scratched and faded from years of neglect, seems unremarkable. But in fact it is probably the oldest existing photograph of Native Americans taken on location in the western United States. It’s the sole surviving daguerreotype from an unprecedented …

A Young Bride Among the Roustabouts of Santa Fe

My Great-Great Grandmother Missed the Gentle, Green Valleys of Germany, But Our Jewish Family Needed a New Start

When my great-great-grandmother set out for New Mexico territory in 1866, she spoke no English. Nor did she speak any Spanish.

German was her native language; Yiddish as well. Julia …