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Thank you for contacting the History Hub.
This is not the first time I’ve heard of or seen the item you’re describing. There is some serious debate going on as to whether these toe tags ever really existed, and the market is currently being flooded with ‘reproductions’ of allegedly original tags.
I’ll refer you to a website I go to quite often when I have questions about these types of items. https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Fantasy-brass-tags-of-the-old-west
Hope this helps. Have a great day!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
I'm skeptical of the tag for two reasons. One is that you don't see the term "Bureau of Indian Affairs" used all that much, if ever, prior to the 20th century - letterhead and forms generally have "Office of Indian Affairs" or simply "Indian Service." Secondly, nothing in the BIA was organized by states or territories past the ending of the superintendencies in the 1870's - and even then the Wyoming Superintendency only existed for two years. The bureau was organized by agency, assigned to a particular reservation, with area offices that could cover multiple states added later on in the 20th century. For Wyoming at the time of statehood, an example of this would be the Shoshone Agency. A record such as a toe tag would be a local record so to have the state instead of the agency name listed doesn't make sense.