This series of rare black and white historical photographs of the Montauk Indians was compiled by Red Thunder Cloud (1919 – 1996) (born "Cromwell Ashbie Hawkins West"), the man who identified himself as the last native speaker of the Catawba Indian language, and was published in East Hampton, N.Y.
Each photograph is annotated by Red Thunder Cloud himself with a detailed biographical description of the subject of the photograph and information about the place and time where the photograph was taken, albeit sometimes with a personal perspective that must be taken into consideration by the reader.
This series was originally published in three sets, of which the Patchogue-Medford Library has in its collection parts of "Set 2" and "Set 3".
The reverse reads:
"In Set No. 1 in photo 10, Harriet Joseph and her husband Vincent also appear but in that photo both were in Sunday attire. Harriet Joseph was an Indian of one of the New England tribes, possibly Mohegan or Wampanoag. She was the niece of Captain Samuel Butler who married Olive Fowler of the Montauks.
The couple made their home on Shelter Island which is rendered in the Montauk dialect as Manhansett-ahaoquahs a wanuck (Island Sheltered by Islands)."