Extremely rare ink signature, “Sitting Bull,” on the reverse of a light brown 4.5 x 2.5 Randall House hotel promotional card. Above the signature is a three-line dated pencil notation in an unknown hand which has mostly faded, and reads, in part, “Autograph of the famous Indian Chief / …to Mr. C.J. Andrews–and by him / presented to…June 1883.” Printed on the front of the card, the information reads, “This Hotel, which is located at Fort Randall, Dakota, has been built by the Post Trader, for the accommodation of all who visit the most pleasant MILITARY POST on the FRONTIER. Although in the INDIAN COUNTRY, this Post is strongly garrisoned and safe from danger. Tourists and others will find it a pleasant place to visit.” In fine condition, with some minor chipping and age wear to card and a crease to top edge, well away from the crisp and bold signature.
Following the defeat of Custer at Little Bighorn, the US government assigned thousands more soldiers to the area in pursuit of the Lakota. Refusing to surrender, Sitting Bull led his band across the border into Saskatchewan, where they remained for the next four years. Struggling to feed his people with the smaller buffalo herds, and troubled by the tension that his presence caused between the Canadian and US governments, he finally returned to Fort Buford (in present-day North Dakota) and surrendered his family and followers on July 19, 1881. From there they were transferred to Fort Randall (South Dakota), where they were held as prisoners of war. It was during his twenty months there that Sitting Bull penned this exceptionally bold signature, magnificent not only in its attractiveness, but also in its important date in the legendary Lakota Sioux leader’s life. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA