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 height and 8 inches in width. https://digitalpml.pmlib.org/search.php?search=item&item=364
Creator: Red Thunder Cloud [Cromwell Ashbie Hawkins West]
Copyright: No Known Copyright Restriction
The caption reads: “Wickham Cuffee, born in 1826, was the son of Sarah Bunn and Vincent Cuffee. He came from the purest stock of the Shinnecock Indians. Older brothers and sisters were James, Nathan, Maria, Nancy, Emaline, Caroline, Louisa, and Frances.
He was well versed in the customs of his people and his memories of early life among the Shinnecock life were of much value to ethnologists and historians. His home was always being visited by people who wanted to photograph him. His family was always very proud of the fact that he was said to resemble George Washington by many. He was a whaler and also remembered when the Shinnecocks used to live in wigwams. According to Wickham, the Shinnecocks stopped living in wigwams after the year 1856.
He was hired by many museums to make models of the Shinnecock wigwam and he was also experienced as a Scrub maker.
His scrubs as well as wigwam models are now collector’s items. He was also the last of the Shinnecock Indians who spoke the tribal language. Wickham Cuffee died in the year of 1915 and was much missed by his people. He is still a favorite topic of conversation among the Shinnecocks and many of the Southampton residents.”