This petition and attached leaflet, ca. 1872, was one of Catlin's last appeals to Congress to purchase his Indian Collection for a sum of $65,000 - the same price he asked in 1846. He writes, the sum would enable me to pay off the heavy liens on the Collection, to reserve a small pittance for my children, to deliver the Collection ... and, to devote, whilst I have the strength to do it, the labor requisite to clean, to retouch, and finish and arrange the whole for perpetuity, at my own expense, as the ambition of my life has constantly prompted me to do. Congress did not purchase the collection and Catlin died that same year.
Petition of George Catlin to Congress, ca. 1872. George Catlin papers, 1821-1904, 1946. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. 20560