Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
circa 1836-1844 and 1965
Scope and Contents:
Lithographs from History of the Indian Tribes of North America by Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall. The lithographs in this set are of Chon-Mon-I-Case, an Otto Half Chief; Ma-Has-Kah or White Cloud, an Ioway Chief; Micanopy, a Seminole Chief; Naw-Kaw, a Winnebago Chief; Nea-Math-La, a Seminole Chief; Ne Sou A Quot, a Fox Chief; Qu-Ta-Wa-Pea, a Shawnee Chief; Thayendanegea, the Great Captain of Six Nations; Wakechai, a Saukie Chief; Wa-Na-Ta, Grand Chief of the Sioux; and Wa-Pel-La, Chief of the Musquakees. Ten are original hand-colored lithographs while the lithograph of Wa-Pel-La is a mounted reprint from 1965. At least four of the lithographs were hanging in Room 59-A in the Natural History building until 1976.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter Charles Bird King was commissioned by Thomas Loraine McKenney, superintendent of Indian trade (1816-1822) and later the superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (1824-1830), to create a government collection of portraits of prominent American Indians visiting Washington, DC. The portraits were reproduced as hand-colored lithographs and published in McKenney and James Hall's three volume work, History of the Indian Tribes of North America. The first volume was published in 1837, with the last volume published in 1844. The paintings, which were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1858, were on display in the museum when they were destroyed in a fire in 1865. Only a few were rescued from the fire. Consequently, the McKenney and Hall lithographs are the only records of King's portraits.