Photographs of Charles Alexandre Lesueur sketches relating to American Indians, circa 1816-1837
Lesueur, Charles Alexandre 1778-1846
18 copy prints
Indians of North America Southern States
Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846) was born the son of a French naval officer in Le Havre, France. He trained in draughtsmanship at the School of Hydrography and joined an expedition to Australia and Tasmania in 1800. With the support of the expedition's zoologist, Francois Peron, Lesueur learned taxidermy and completed numerous sketches of animals, landscapes, and indigenous Australians. When the expedition ended in 1804, Lesueur made watercolors from his sketches, some of which were exhibited at the Muséum d'Histrorie Naturelle in Paris. He also illustrated Peron's report of the expedition, Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes, with support from Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Starting in 1817, Lesueur left France to tour America with geologist William Maclure. When their tour finished in 1828, Lesueur stayed in the United States, joining Maclure in Philadelphia and becoming a founding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences there. In 1825, Lesueur again joined Maclure at New Harmony, Indiana, where he taught, sketched, and participated in archeological excavations until 1837. After the utopian community at New Harmony ended, Lesueur returned to France. He became curator at the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle du Havre (Museum of Natural History at Le Havre, France), which was built to house his drawings and paintings. He remained there until his death in 1846.
Photographs of sketches made by Charles Alexandre Lesueur in 1816-1837 documenting archeological sites in Indiana and Kentucky, Choctaw Indians of the Mississippi River in Tennessee and Louisiana, and Plains Indian artifacts, probably seen and sketched at St. Louis, Missouri.
Photo Lot R4534, Photographs of Charles Alexandre Lesueur sketches relating to American Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution