This collection contains all 20 original folios of Thomas Loraine Mckenney and James Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with biographical sketches and anecdotes of the principal chiefs. The folios were published and sent to subscribers between 1836-1844 and include 120 hand-colored lithographic plates. As Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1824-1830, McKenney commissioned and collected portraits of Native American leaders, the majority painted by Charles Bird King. These portraits, along with biographical text by James Hall, form the basis of History of the Indian Tribes of North America.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes all 20 folios of Thomas Loraine Mckenney and James Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with biographical sketches and anecdotes of the principal chiefs in their original wrappers. Each folio includes six hand-colored lithographic plates along with biographical essays on Native American leaders, both men and women, from the early 19th century.
Native Communities represented in these volumes include—Sauk, Meskwaki (Fox), Shawnee, Osage, Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa), Mississippi Choctaw, Mdewakantonwan Dakota (Mdewakanton Sioux), Eastern Band of Cherokee, Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Oto, Seneca, Chaticks Si Chaticks (Pawnee), Yanktonnai Nakota, Muskogee (Creek), Omaha, Iowa, Sac and Fox (Sauk and Fox), Oklahoma Cherokee, Lenape (Delaware), Numakiki (Mandan), Euchee (Yuchi), Potawatomi, Seminole, Mohawk, Menominee (Menomini), Quatsino Kwakwaka'wakw, Odawa (Ottawa), Pikuni (Piegan) [Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana], Powhatan, Kaw (Kansa).
The lithographs were cataloged individually with P (print) numbers P27694-P27813, though not physically separated from their volumes.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Arranged by foilio number.
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Loraine McKenney was born in 1785 to a family of Quakers in Hopewell, Maryland. Following the abolition of the U.S. Indian Trade program in 1822, McKenney (1785-1859) was appointed to the new position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which he held from 1824-1830. During his time as Superintendent of Indian trade in Georgetown, McKenney hired the painter Charles Bird King and began developing a governmental collection of portraits of prominent Native chiefs and elders who visited Washington. Between 1821-1842, King painted over 100 portraits with some assistance from friend and student George Cook.
Following his dismissal from the War Department by President Andrew Jackson in 1830, McKenney moved to Philadelphia to begin the process of getting his collection of portraits reproduced as lithographs with original hand coloring. The publication would document the extensive collection of King paints, many of which were later lost in a fire that destroyed part of the Smithsonian castle in January 1865.
This process was aided by Edward C. Biddle, a Philadelphia printer, who published the first volume (parts 1-6) in 1836 of what would be a three-volume set of 20 folios. James Hall (1793-1868), a judge and known writer, was hired to write text based on McKenney's research. Later parts were published between 1836-1844 by Frederick W. Greenough (parts 7-13), J.T. Bowen (part 14), and by Daniel Rice and James G. Clark (15-20). Several octavo editions were later published.
Provenance is unknown, part of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation collection when the MAI became the NMAI in 1989.
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Identification of specific item; Date (if known); McKenney and Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America folios and lithographs image #, NMAI.AC.115; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Albums probably assembled by William Henry Jackson, mostly containing portraits of Native American delegates in Washington, D.C. and photographs made on US Geological Surveys (including the Hayden and Powell surveys). Photographs from the field include John K. Hillers' photographs of the Southwest, photographs of Fort Laramie (possibly by Alexander Gardner), Orloff R. Westmann's photographs of Taos Pueblo, and Jackson's photographs of Crow, Shoshoni, Pawnee, and Nez Perce Tribes and related sites. Most of the photographs were made circa 1860s-1870s.
The albums were probably by Jackson while working under Ferdinand V. Hayden for the United States Geological Survey of the Territories. The reason for their creation is uncertain, though it may have been a project set up by Hayden or a continuation of William Henry Blackmore's tradition of publishing albums. Some of the albums include captions pasted from Jackson's Descriptive Catalogue of Photographs of North American Indians (1877) while others have handwritten captions.
William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) was an American painter, photographer and explorer. Born in New York, he sold drawings and retouched photographs from an early age. After serving in the Civil War, he opened a photography studio in Omaha, Nebraska, with his brother Edward. As photographer for the US Geological and Geographical Surveys (1870-1878), he documented the American west and published the first photographs of Yellowstone. When the surveys lost funding in 1879, Jackson opened a studio in Denver, Colorado, and also worked for various railroad companies. Many of Jackson's photographs were displayed at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago (1893), for which he was the official photographer.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 4420
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Original negatives for many of the photographs in this collection can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in the BAE historical negatives.
The National Museum of the American Indian Archives holds William Henry Jackson photographs and negatives.
Additional Jackson photographs held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 4605, MS 4801, Photo Lot 14, Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 29, Photo Lot 37, Photo Lot 40, Photo Lot 60, Photo Lot 93, Photo lot 143, Photo Lot 87-2P, Photo Lot 87-20, and Photo Lot 90-1.
Correspondence from Jackson held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4517, MS 4881, MS 4821, and collections of personal papers.
Photographs of sketches and paintings made by Paul Kane in 1845-1856, including portraits and scenes of camps, dances, and a buffalo hunt, relating to the Ojibwa, Ottawa, Menominee, Potawatomi, Eastern Sioux, Cree, Assiniboine, Chinook, Cowlitz, Clallam, Cowichan and Babine. The sketchbook, of which the microfilm may be incomplete, includes many of the same subjects as the paintings, as well as artifacts, scenic views and scenes from Kane's studies in Europe. The collection also includes a photostat of the catalog published in Kane's "Wanderings of an Artist..." and a typed list of the captions for the sketches.
Paul Kane (1810-1871) was born in Ireland and emigrated to Toronto (then called York) when he was nine. He worked as a decorative furniture painter before turning to portrait painting and studying art at centers throughout Europe. Inspired by George Catlin's paintings documenting the Plains Indians, Kane set out on an expedition from Fort William (Thunder Bay) to Fort Vancouver to document the peoples of the Northwest. From 1845-1848, Kane traveled amongst tribes of the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere, sketching and describing his experiences in a journal. When Kane returned to Toronto, he published "Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of North America" (1859) and made over 100 paintings based on his journal sketches, commissioned by George William Allen. The entire Allen collection was later purchased by Sir Edmund Osler and donated to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 4428, NAA Photo Lot 4427
Copy prints and microfilm made by the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs previously filed in Photo Lot 4427, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 4428. These are photographs of paintings by Kane in the Royal Ontario Museum and were donated with the photographs of sketches already filed in this collection.
Additional photographs of paintings by Kane held in National Anthropological Archives MS 4642 and the BAE historical negatives.
Numbered manuscripts 1850s-1980s (some earlier)
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Restrictions: Publication rights granted to Bureau of American Ethnology or Smithsonian Institution staff members for use of small selections of the material; collection not to be published in its entirety. Royal Ontario Museum wishes to be informed when and where illustrations are used. Persons outside the Smithsonian Institution must obtain publication permission as well as photographic prints from the Royal Ontario Museum; the Smithsonian may not make copy negatives for the general distribution of prints.
Contents: Words and lists of days, months and years and other time divisions, approximately 100 pages. (includes Maya, Aztec, etc.) Color adjectives, 8 pages. Totemic clans of all tribes, 37 pages. Personal names (Chiefs, etc.), 25 pages. (Personal names of "Knisteneaux or Crees, Shawnee, Crow, Dakota, Arikaras, Cheyennes, Blackfeet, Piegan, Menomoni, Peoria, Otawa, Sauk").