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 George Benjamin Wittick

George Benjamin Wittick

Birth
Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 30 Aug 1903 (aged 58)
Fort Wingate, McKinley County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA
Plot Sec NT Lot 930, Grave 2, Wittick Family Plot
Memorial ID 22307 · View Source
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Photographer. He was a prominent nineteenth century photographer of the American West and American Indians. A Civil War veteran, he served during the war under the name of "Benjamin Wallace" in Company A of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry and Company D of the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry, serving from 1862 to 1865. He left Moline, Illinois and went West after the war and was the first person to photograph the Hopi Snake Dance. A Hopi elder warned him at the time that he would die from a snake bite for witnessing the ceremony and not being an initiated member. His photographs from this event brought the Hopi religious ritual great attention. After exposing several thousand photographs of the Apache, Zuni, Navajo, Mojave, Yuma and Hualapai Indians from 1875 to 1900, he decided to return to visit the Hopi Snake Dance in 1903. As a gesture of friendship, he captured a rattlesnake to bring to the Hopi as a gift. While handling the snake it bit him on the thumb on August 8, 1903 and he died three weeks later at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, just as the Hopi elder had predicted many years earlier.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 May 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22307
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Benjamin Wittick (1 Jan 1845–30 Aug 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22307, citing Riverside Cemetery, Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .