Collection consists of microfilm of a sketch book belonging to the Cheyenne warrior Little Fingernail depicting events in his life, including events connected with the Fort Robinson tragedy. A member of the Northern Cheyennes, Little Fingernail was part of a group of Cheyennes under the leadership of Dull Knife and Little Wolf who in 1878 escaped their confinement in Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma in an attempt to return to their home in the Powder River country of Wyoming and Montana. Hounded by soldiers and weakened by lack of food, the group split, with some attempting to continue north and others surrending to the U.S. army. Dull Knife led his group, of which Little Fingernail was part, to Fort Robinson in present-day Nebraska. Promised a portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation, the American government soon reneged on this promise and ordered the Cheyennes to return south to Indian Territory. When the Cheyennes refused to return, rations were witheld and one of their leaders, Wild Hog, was placed in shackles. On January 9, 1879, Little Fingernail and a group of Cheyennes escaped from the fort. On January 22, at a site known as Hat Creek Bluffs, (approximately 35 miles northwest of Fort Robinson), a small group of the escapees including Little Fingernail were spotted and attacked by a contingent of soldiers led by Captain Henry W. Wessells. Foreced into a defensive position below the bluffs, Little Fingernail and all of the warriors were killed
eight survivors were later pulled from the pit where Little Fingernail died. The original document which appears on the microfilm can be found at the Butler Library of Columbia University.