Collection: Patchogue-Medford Library Digital PML Rare Eastern Indian Photo Series, [Set 1]
Type of Material: Photograph
Source: Scanned from the original photograph which is 10 inches in width and 8 inches in height. https://digitalpml.pmlib.org/search.php?search=item&item=327
Coverage/Location: Shinnecock Reservation, Southampton, N.Y. (Town)
Creator: Red Thunder Cloud [Cromwell Ashbie Hawkins West]
Copyright: No Known Copyright Restriction
The caption reads: “Reverend William B. Newell (Rolling Thunder) was a member of the Mohawk Tribe from the St. Regis Reservation in Hogansburg, New York, and came to accept the position of pastor among the Shinnecocks in 1938. He was a well known anthropologist and a student of the late Dr. Frank G. Speck of the University of Pennsylvania under whom the author also studied.
Unfortunately, Rolling Thunder did not remain long among the Shinnecocks. Coming from a conservative Indian community where Mohawk was still spoken and many Indian customs still followed, he found that his philosophy differed markedly from that of the Shinnecocks and the relationship developed into a strained and unpleasant one. Thus he left the Shinnecock Reservation. Rolling Thunder is on the left, next to him is Lincoln Smith, James Smith, Elliot Kellis and Anthony Beaman (Running Bull) who later became Medicine Man of the tribe. This photo was taken after the hurricane of 1938 and shows the church being rebuilt.”