Sunday, July 23, 2017

1833 Child's Picture Book of Indians

By the 19th century, teaching U.S. children about Native Americans depended mostly on centuries of myths and degrading portrayals. Children were typically taught how the indigenous people possessed a primitive mind, culture, and religion. Euro-Americans would either lean toward a curriculum of paternalism, believing that the Indians needed “White Americans” to save them from themselves. However, in this children’s book from 1833, the author takes an almost sympathetic view of the native population and their plight over the centuries. 

“The predecessors of the English on the American soil were in several respects a remarkable people. Although sunk in ignorance, and destitute of all the refinements of civilization, they were far from the stupidity and imbecility of the Hottentots.”
and further elaborated….

“After their acquaintance with the English had commenced, they often exhibited as much shrewdness and sagacity as their more enlightened neighbors. In acts of heroic bravery, and in unyielding endurance, they have never been excelled. If they were more artful and treacherous than the whites, (although this may be doubted,) they had not the same principles acting upon them to restrain their mischievous propensities; while the recorded instances of their fidelity and gratitude, their kindness and humanity, are not only numerous, but in many instances exceedingly touching.”

“the Indians were, and where they still exist, are, a remarkable people. They are now dwindling away. In another century, it is doubtful whether even a remnant of them will be found in the land, the whole of which they once called their own, and over which their tribes of mighty renown held dominion…”
Sporting the Summer Dress
“The upper part of his hair, you see, is out short, forming a ridge, which stands up, like the comb of a cock. The rest of his hair is shorn, or tied in a knot behind his ear. On his head, are stuck three feathers, by way of  ornament, taken from the turkey, pheasant, or hawk. From his ear hangs a fine shell, with pearl drops. At his breast, is another fine shell, polished very smooth. This, though not to be perceived, is intended to have a star,  or half moon, upon it. From his neck and wrists, hang strings of beads. His apron is made of deer’s skin, around the edges of which is a fringe. Behind his back, or on his side, hangs a quiver to contain his arrows. This was  generally made of thin bark ; but sometimes of the skull of a fox, or young wolf; and to make it look more terrible, the head hung down from the end of the quiver ; but it is not so represented in the picture. To add to the warlike appearance of the quiver, it was tied on with the tail of a panther, or a buffaloe. You perceive it hanging down between the Indian’s legs. On the shoulder of the Indian whose back is turned towards you, you see a dotted mark. This was to show to what tribe he belonged.”
The so-called barbacue
 “The principal food of the Virginia Indians was fish and flesh. These they boiled, or roasted, as they pleased. They had two ways of broiling, viz. one by laying the meat itself upon the coals—the other by laying it upon sticks raised upon forks, at some distance above the live coals. This latter method they called barbacuing”
The dance
 “The sports of the Virginia Indians consisted chiefly in dancing, singing, instrumental music, and some boisterous plays, which were performed by running and leaping upon one another…, representing a solemn festival dance of the Indians round their carved posts.”
What happened to all the fish?
“Before the arrival of the English, the Indians had fish in such abundance, that the boys and girls would take a pointed stick, and strike the smaller sort, as they swam upon the flats. In the picture, you see several who are thus engaged, with their spears.”

Description:
The child’s picture book of Indians :containing views of their costumes, ornaments, weapons, sports, habitations, war-dances, &c, to which is added a collection of Indian anecdotes, original and select. Boston : Carter, Hendee and Co., 1833.

See: Widner Library at Harvard University

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pacific Coast Native Americans by Louis Choris (1795-1828)

Ohlone people, also known as the Costanoan, are a Native American people of the central & northern California coast. When Spanish explorers & missionaries arrived in the late 18th century, the Ohlone inhabited the area along the coast from San Francisco Bay through Monterey Bay to the lower Salinas Valley. They lived by hunting, fishing, & gathering, in the typical ethnographic California pattern. The members of these various bands interacted freely with one another as they built friendships & marriages, traded tools & other necessities, & partook in cultural practices. Before the Spanish came, the northern California region was one of the most densely populated regions north of Mexico. However in the years 1769 to 1833, the Spanish missions in California had a devastating effect on Ohlone culture. The Ohlone population declined steeply during this period.
Louis Choris (German-Russian painter 1795-1828) Natives Dancing at Mission Dolores.  Louis Choris (1795-1828) was a German-Russian painter & explorer. He was one of the 1st sketch artists used for for expedition research. Choris, who was a Russian of German stock, was born in Yekaterinoslav, now Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on March 22, 1795. He visited the Pacific coast of North America in 1816, on board the Ruric, being attached in the capacity of artist to the Romanzoff expedition under the command of Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue, sent out for the purpose of exploring a Northwest Passage. After the voyage, Choris went to Paris, where he issued a portfolio of his drawings in lithographic reproduction. Choris worked extensively in pastels, as he documented the Ohlone people in the missions of San Francisco, California in 1816.

Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde, Avec des Portraits de Savages d'Amerique...by Louis Choriswas was published in Paris by Firmin Didot in 1822. Choris was only 20 years old,  when he was appointed official artist aboard the Rurik, 1815- 1818, commanded by the Russian, Otto von Kotzebue. After visiting islands in the South Seas, Kotzebue explored the North American coast & landed twice on the Hawaiian Islands. The first work in particular has great American interest because of its lithographs of California, the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Aleutians, St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, & Kotzebue Sound in Alaska. The lithographs cover all aspects of native life & culture.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wáh-chee-te, Wife of Cler-mónt, and Child by George Catlin 1796-1872

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Wáh-chee-te, Wife of Cler-mónt, and Child

New Jersey born George Catlin (1796-1872) is reknowned for his extensive travels across the American West, recording the lives of Native Americans. In 1818, Catlin practiced law in Connecticut & Pennsylvania, but he abandoned his practice in 1821 to pursue painting. Catlin enjoyed modest success painting portraits & miniatures, but he longed to be a history painter. In 1828, after seeing a delegation of western Indians in the east, he had wrote that he had found a subject, "on which to devote a whole life-time of enthusiasm." In 1830, Catlin made his initial pilgrimage to St. Louis to meet William Clark & learn from him all he could of the western lands he hoped to visit. Catlin traveled the frontier from 1830 to 1836, visiting 50 tribes west of the Mississippi, from present-day North Dakota to Oklahoma, creating an astonishing visual record of Native American life. He had only a short time to accomplish his goal—to capture with canvas & paint the essence of Indian life & culture. In that same year, the Indian Removal Act commenced the 12-year action that would remove the remaining Indians from land east of the Mississippi. Within a few years, the Mandan would be decimated by smallpox; with in a few decades, the number of buffalo would drop from millions to a few thousand, & the Native Americans' high prairies would be crosshatched by the plow & the railroad.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) paints A Choctaw Woman in Louisiana

From Europe to the Atlantic coast of America & on to the Pacific coast during the 17C-19C, settlers moved West encountering a variety of Indigenous Peoples who had lived on the land for centuries.


Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) A Choctaw Woman in Louisiana

Sunday, July 16, 2017

American artist Seth Eastman (1808-1875) portrays Native Americans

Seth Eastman (American artist, 1808-1875) Buffalo Chase

Born in 1808 in Brunswick, Maine, Seth Eastman (1808-1875) found expression for his artistic skills in a military career. After graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point, where officers-in-training were taught basic drawing & drafting techniques, Eastman was posted to forts in Wisconsin & Minnesota before returning to West Point as assistant teacher of drawing. --- While at Fort Snelling, Eastman married Wakaninajinwin (Stands Sacred), the 15-year-old daughter of Cloud Man, Dakota chief. Eastman left in 1832, for another military assignment soon after the birth of their baby girl, Winona, & he declared his marriage ended when he left. Winona was also known as Mary Nancy Eastman & was the mother of Charles Alexander Eastman, author of Indian Boyhood. --- From 1833 to 1840, Eastman taught drawing at West Point. In 1835, he married his 2nd wife & was reassigned to Fort Snelling as a military commander & remained there with Mary & their 5 children for the next 7 years. During this time Eastman began recording the everyday way of life of the Dakota & the Ojibwa people. Transferred to posts in Florida, & Texas in the 1840s, Eastman made sketches of the native peoples there. This experience prepared him for the next 5 yeas in Washington, DC, where he was assigned to the commissioner of Indian Affairs & illustrated Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's important 6-volume Historical  Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, & Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. In 1867, Eastman returned to the Capitol to paint a series of scenes of Native American life for the House Committee on Indian Affairs. From the office of the United States Senate curator, we learn that in 1870, the House Committee on Military Affairs commissioned artist Seth Eastman 17 to paint images of important fortifications in the United States. He completed the works between 1870 & 1875. Of his 17 paintings of forts, 8 are located in the Senate, while the others are displayed on the House side of the Capitol. Eastman was working on the painting West Point, when he died in 1875.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874) - Camp Fire, Preparing the Evening Meal

Alfred Jacob Miller (American, 1810-1874) Camp Fire, Preparing the Evening Meal

"A Trapper is here preparing that most glorious of all mountain morsels, 'a hump rib' for supper. He is spitting it with a stick, the lower end of which is stuck in the ground near the fire inclined inwards. ... The guard for the watch of night is seated to the left. His duty expires at 12 o'clock when he is relieved by another, who continues the guard until 5 o'clock A.M., when the horses are unloosed to feed preparatory to starting. Breakfast is ready at sunrise, and when finished the tents are struck, luggage packed, horses caught up, and another day's journey commenced." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.

In July of 1858, Baltimore art collector William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at $12  apiece from Baltimore-born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text written by the artist, & were delivered in installments over the next 21 months & ultimately bound in 3 albums. These albums included the field-sketches drawn during Miller's 1837 expedition to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (now western Wyoming).  These watercolors offer a unique record of the the lives of those involved in the closing years of the western fur trade & a look at the artist's opinions of both women & Native Americans.  The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Native Americans spear fishing by Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902)

Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902) Indians spear fishing (1862)

Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902) was best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Bierstadt, was born in Solingen, Germany. He was still a toddler, when his family moved from Germany to New Bedford in Massachusetts. In 1853, he returned to Germany to study in Dusseldorf, where he refined his technical abilities by painting Alpine landscapes. After he returned to America in 1857, he joined an overland survey expedition traveling westward across the country. Along the route, he took countless photographs & made sketches & returned East to paint from them. He exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum from 1859-1864, at the Brooklyn Art Association from 1861-1879, & at the Boston Art Club from 1873-1880. A member of the National Academy of Design from 1860-1902.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Winter Trail by Cassilly Adams (1843-1921)

Cassilly Adams (American artist, 1843-1921) Winter Trail

A descendant of President John Adams, Kassilli or Cassilly Adams (1843-1921) was born  in Zanesville, Ohio. His father, William Adams, was an amateur painter. Young Cassilly studied painting at the Academy of Art in Boston and Cincinnati Art School. During the Civil War he served in the US Navy. By 1880, Adams was living in St. Louis. In 1884, the artist created a monumental canvas depicting the Battle of the Little Bighorn (death of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment of the US Army and its famous commander George Custer) - "Custer's Last Fight." The painting was exhibited across the country, and then was purchased by the company "Anheuser-Busch" and later donated to the Seventh Cavalry. After the restoration of the original during the Great Depression, it was exhibited in the officers' club at Fort Bliss (Texas), and June 13, 1946 was burned in a fire. Despite the success of "Custer's Last Fight," Adams remained a relatively unknown artist. He focused on the image of Indians American West Plains life, worked as an illustrator, a farmer. He died Kassilli Adams May 8, 1921 in Traders Point near Indianapolis.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Pacific Coast Native Americans by Louis Choris (1795-1828)

Louis Choris (German-Russian painter 1795-1828) Pacific Ocean Indian

Louis Choris (1795-1828) was a German-Russian painter & explorer. He was one of the 1st sketch artists used for for expedition research. Choris, who was a Russian of German stock, was born in Yekaterinoslav, now Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on March 22, 1795. He visited the Pacific coast of North America in 1816, on board the Ruric, being attached in the capacity of artist to the Romanzoff expedition under the command of Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue, sent out for the purpose of exploring a Northwest Passage. After the voyage, Choris went to Paris, where he issued a portfolio of his drawings in lithographic reproduction. Choris worked extensively in pastels, as he documented the Ohlone people in the missions of San Francisco, California in 1816.

Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde, Avec des Portraits de Savages d'Amerique...by Louis Choriswas was published in Paris by Firmin Didot in 1822. Choris was only 20 years old,  when he was appointed official artist aboard the Rurik, 1815- 1818, commanded by the Russian, Otto von Kotzebue. After visiting islands in the South Seas, Kotzebue explored the North American coast & landed twice on the Hawaiian Islands. The first work in particular has great American interest because of its lithographs of California, the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Aleutians, St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, & Kotzebue Sound in Alaska. The lithographs cover all aspects of native life & culture.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Indigenous Women Of America Photo

Indigenous Women Of America - Alice, Unknown Tribe (possibly Cayuse, Walla Walla, Or Umatilla), 1900

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sioux near Fort Laramie 1859 by Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902)

Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902) Municipality of Sioux near Fort Laramie (1859).  Albert Bierstadt (German-born American painter, 1830-1902) was best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Bierstadt, was born in Solingen, Germany. He was still a toddler, when his family moved from Germany to New Bedford in Massachusetts. In 1853, he returned to Germany to study in Dusseldorf, where he refined his technical abilities by painting Alpine landscapes. After he returned to America in 1857, he joined an overland survey expedition traveling westward across the country. Along the route, he took countless photographs & made sketches & returned East to paint from them. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Wah-pe-séh-see, Mother of the Chief by George Catlin 1796-1872

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Wah-pe-séh-see, Mother of the Chief

New Jersey born George Catlin (1796-1872) is reknowned for his extensive travels across the American West, recording the lives of Native Americans. In 1818, Catlin practiced law in Connecticut & Pennsylvania, but he abandoned his practice in 1821 to pursue painting. Catlin enjoyed modest success painting portraits & miniatures, but he longed to be a history painter. In 1828, after seeing a delegation of western Indians in the east, he had wrote that he had found a subject, "on which to devote a whole life-time of enthusiasm." In 1830, Catlin made his initial pilgrimage to St. Louis to meet William Clark & learn from him all he could of the western lands he hoped to visit. Catlin traveled the frontier from 1830 to 1836, visiting 50 tribes west of the Mississippi, from present-day North Dakota to Oklahoma, creating an astonishing visual record of Native American life. He had only a short time to accomplish his goal—to capture with canvas & paint the essence of Indian life & culture. In that same year, the Indian Removal Act commenced the 12-year action that would remove the remaining Indians from land east of the Mississippi. Within a few years, the Mandan would be decimated by smallpox; with in a few decades, the number of buffalo would drop from millions to a few thousand, & the Native Americans' high prairies would be crosshatched by the plow & the railroad.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874) - Camp Scene (Sioux)

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874) Camp Scene (Sioux) 

"American sculptors travel thousands of miles to study Greek statues in the Vatican at Rome, seemingly unaware that in their own country there exists a race of men equal in form and grace (if not superior) to the finest beau ideal ever dreamed of by the Greeks. And it does seem a little extraordinary that up to this time (as far as I am aware) not a single sculptor has thought it worth his while to make a journey among these Indians, who are now sojourning on the Western side of the Rocky mountains, and are rapidly passing away. Most unquestionably, that sculptor who travels here,- and models fro what he sees (supposing him to have equal power and genius), will far excel any other who merely depends upon his own conception of what it ought to be. The subject of the sketch is an Indian's home;- he has planted his lodge on the borders of a small stream, screened from the prairie by hills in the middle distance, near which are some of his party." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). In July of 1858, Baltimore art collector William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at $12  apiece from Baltimore-born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text written by the artist, & were delivered in installments over the next 21 months & ultimately bound in 3 albums. These albums included the field-sketches drawn during Miller's 1837 expedition to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (now western Wyoming).  These watercolors offer a unique record of the the lives of those involved in the closing years of the western fur trade & a look at the artist's opinions of both women & Native Americans.  The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jean Adeline Morgan Wanatee was born in 1910 on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement a member of the peaceful Wolf Clan.

Jean Adeline Morgan Wanatee was born in 1910 on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in Tama, Iowa.  She was a member of the peaceful Wolf Clan. As a child, she attended the Sac and Fox Day School in Tama, the Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota and then, in the 8th grade, returned to Iowa to attend Tama Public Schools. Wanatee and her husband Frank David Wanatee raised 7 children on the settlement. Spending most of her life at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Wanatee worked tirelessly for the rights of American Indians and for the rights of all minority women. She believed that American Indian children should be educated in local public schools under tribal control rather than sent to government boarding schools far from their families. She worked for the preservation of Indian culture by speaking and teaching the Meskwaki language and creating and teaching Meskwaki arts. She was the 1st Native American to be inducted to the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame.

Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. 
Gaylord Torrence and Robert Hobbs, Art of the Red Earth People: The Mesquakie of Iowa (1989)

Research from Charlotte M. Wright. "Wanatee, Jean Adeline Morgan" The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, 2009. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

From the Interior of a Tipi (TeePee) by Cassilly Adams (1843-1921)

Cassilly Adams (American artist, 1843-1921) View from the Interior of a Tipi (TeePee)

A descendant of President John Adams, Kassilli or Cassilly Adams (1843-1921) was born  in Zanesville, Ohio. His father, William Adams, was an amateur painter. Young Cassilly studied painting at the Academy of Art in Boston and Cincinnati Art School. During the Civil War he served in the US Navy. By 1880, Adams was living in St. Louis. In 1884, the artist created a monumental canvas depicting the Battle of the Little Bighorn (death of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment of the US Army and its famous commander George Custer) - "Custer's Last Fight." The painting was exhibited across the country, and then was purchased by the company "Anheuser-Busch" and later donated to the Seventh Cavalry. After the restoration of the original during the Great Depression, it was exhibited in the officers' club at Fort Bliss (Texas), and June 13, 1946 was burned in a fire. Despite the success of "Custer's Last Fight," Adams remained a relatively unknown artist. He focused on the image of Indians American West Plains life, worked as an illustrator, a farmer. He died Kassilli Adams May 8, 1921 in Traders Point near Indianapolis.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

White Plume (1765-1838), also called Nom-pa-wa-rah, Manshenscaw, & Monchousiachief of the Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) Indians.

White Plume (c 1765-1838), also known as Nom-pa-wa-rah, Manshenscaw, and Monchousia, was a chief of the Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) Indians. He signed a treaty in 1825, ceding millions of acres of Kaw land to the United States. Many members of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma trace their lineage back to him. He was the great-great-grandfather of Charles Curtis, 31st Vice President of the United States.
Monchousia by Charles Bird King (1785 -1862), 1822.  White Plume was born about 1765. The Kaw tribe at that time occupied lands in what became the states of Kansas and Missouri and numbered about 1500 persons. White Plume married a daughter of the Osage Chief Pawhuska. White Plume had 5 children. His 3 sons all died when young men. His 2 daughters, Hunt Jimmy (b c 1800) and Wyhesee (b c 1802) married French traders Louis Gonville and Joseph James. Until the United States acquired Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the Kaw subsisted primarily on buffalo hunting with only limited agriculture. They were dependent on selling furs and buffalo robes to French traders to acquire European goods such as guns. 

White Plume was one of the Kaw signatories to an 1815 treaty with the United States. With his daughters married to French traders, White Plume was identified by American officials as more progressive than his rivals among the Kaws. In 1821 he was invited by Indian Superintendent William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) to visit Washington, DC as a member of a delegation of Indian leaders. The group met with President James Monroe and other American officials, visited New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and danced on the White House Lawn and at the residence of the French Minister. 

White Plume came back from Washington convinced that the future of the Kaw, and his own future, was accommodation with the United States. Already eastern Indians were migrating west and occupying lands claimed by the Kaw. The Missouri River was a highway to fur trappers and traders heading for the Rocky Mountains. In 1822, the 1st wagons traveled through Kaw hunting grounds from Missouri to New Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. 

In 1825, White Plume was the principal Kaw chief signing a treaty giving 18 million acres to the United States in exchange for annuities of 3,500 dollars per year for 20 years plus livestock and assistance to enable the Kaw to become full-time farmers. In exchange, the Kaw received a sliver of land 30 miles wide extending westward into the Great Plains from the Kansas River valley. To win support for the treaty from the increasingly important mixed bloods, each of 23 mixed blood children of French/Kaw parents received a section of land on the north bank of the Kansas River. The immense land giveaway in the 1825 treaty, plus a similar treaty signed by the government with the Osage, opened up Kansas to the relocation, usually forced, of eastern Indian tribes. The U.S. would squeeze the Kaw into ever smaller territories.  Much of the land White Plume ceded was already lost to the Kaw and was being occupied by eastern Indians or White settlers. White Plume probably also foresaw that the Kaw would have to learn to live on much reduced territories and change their emphasis from hunting and fur trading to agriculture. 

When George Sibley visited the Kaws in 1811, they were living in a single prosperous village of 128 family bark lodges on the site of present-day Manhattan, Kansas. The favoritism, however, shown by the United States to White Plume and the mixed bloods contributed to rivalries for leadership. In the 1820s, the Kaw split into four factions. Not accepting White Plume’s leadership, the 3 conservative factions continued to live in villages near Manhattan. White Plume and his supporters settled downstream near the Kaw Agency headquarters established near Williamstown, Kansas in 1827.  The increasing problems of the Kaw were amplified by smallpox epidemics that swept through the tribe in 1827-1828 and 1831-1832 killing nearly 500 members of the tribe including White Plume’s wife and 2 of his sons.

Methodist missionary, William Johnson arrived in 1830 at the Williamstown agency to begin a school for Kaw and mixed-blood children. The Kaw Agency was a microcosm of the “careless, indeed illusive” efforts of the U.S. government’s efforts to make Christians and farmers of Indians such as the Kaw who had little desire to be either. Indian Agents, appointed by the government were often corrupt or incompetent. Most agents found reason to be absent from the agency for extended periods of time. Also, in accordance with the treaty, farmers, teachers, missionaries, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, and a blacksmith lived near the agency to "civilize" the Kaw. One of the farmers was Daniel Morgan Boone, son of the famous scout, Daniel Boone. His son, born here August 22, 1828. The Chouteau family established a trading post across the river to provide goods to the Kaw in exchange for buffalo robes and furs. 

The U.S. government built a stone house for White Plume near the agency, but he lived in a traditional lodge; because he said the house had "too much fleas." Many of the mixed bloods also lived near the agency, as did a number of French voyageurs who were accustomed to life on the frontier. As novelist Washington Irving reported with distain, "the old French houses engaged in the Indian trade had gathered round them a train of dependents, mongrel Indians, and mongrel Frenchmen, who had intermarried with Indians."

White Plume was a prominent person on the frontier in the 1830s, and travelers often called on him. The painter George Catlin described him as "a very urban and hospitable man of good, portly size, speaking some English, and making himself good company for all persons who travel through his country and have the good luck to shake his liberal and hospitable hand." Catlin regretted that he did not have the opportunity to paint White Plume’s portrait. A missionary reported in 1838, that he had died, while on a traditional autumn hunt.

Monday, June 26, 2017

John Hauser (American artist, 1859-1913) paints Natives In the Foothills of America's 1896 South West

John Hauser (American artist, 1859-1913) In the Foothills 1896

John Hauser was best known for his portraits of Native Americans & depictions of various aspects of Indian life. He had academic training at art schools in Europe, including the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In the United States he became fascinated with Native Americans of the Southwest & West, whom he painted for the rest of his life. In 1893, he traveled with the American artist Joseph Henry Sharp to Taos, New Mexico & other areas of that & nearby states. He did so much work at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota that he & his wife were adopted by the Lakota Sioux as members of their nation.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Keokuk 1780/81–1848 - a Sauk Indian Chief

1820 Keokuk, Sauk chief, wearing a headdress of colored animal hair. Keokuk (1780/81–June 1848) was a Sauk Indian chief, the son of a Sauk warrior of the Fox clan and his mixed-lineage wife. His name had more than one translation. It was reported as "one-who-movesabout-alertly" and "the watchful fox," but later in life he called himself "the man who has been everywhere."
1832 Keokuk and his son, by Charles Bird King (1785-1862).  A powerful, athletic man, Keokuk became a full warrior when, as a young man, he killed a Sioux brave. Gifted in oratory, a talent prized by American Indians, he became the guest-keeper for his village and then attained prominence during the War of 1812. After war chief Black Hawk led many Sauk warriors to fight for the British, it was feared that American forces would attack Saukenuk, the main Sauk village. Keokuk persuaded the tribal council not to flee from the town. He declared that he would lead the defense and was named war chief–a role he could hold as a member of the Fox clan. No enemy force appeared, but Keokuk retained the title of war chief, much to the chagrin of Black Hawk when he returned.

Keokuk soon developed influence as a diplomat dealing with white authorities. In that capacity, he traveled to Washington, D.C., with a tribal delegation in 1824. Besides negotiating some changes to treaties for the Sauk and their Meskwaki (Fox) allies, Keokuk, impressed with the population and resources of the United States, became determined to avoid conflict with such a powerful people. He was not a coward. He would fight enemies, especially the Sioux, with whom the Sauk and Meskwaki contested for hunting grounds. However, he reluctantly worked to keep more hostilities from erupting after the federal government demanded peace among the tribes.
1834 Keokuk by George Catlin 1796-1872.  Problems arose when Black Hawk, who had earlier left Illinois and his beloved Saukenuk for Iowa, decided to take his followers back to the town. Black Hawk had never accepted the treaty of 1804 by which the Sauk surrendered ownership of their Illinois land, and only Keokuk's efforts had convinced him to leave Saukenuk. Now his attempt to reoccupy the town initiated the Black Hawk War. Keokuk succeeded in keeping his followers and others from following Black Hawk. With the defeat of Black Hawk, the federal government not only forced the Sauk and Meskwaki to give up land in eastern Iowa but also named Keokuk the principal peace or civil chief of a confederated Sauk and Meskwaki tribe.
1834 Keokuk by George Catlin 1796-1872.  Keokuk's new status led to discord. In Sauk culture, a member of the Fox clan could not be a civil chief. Moreover, the Meskwaki did not want a Sauk to be their leader. Keokuk's friendship with white fur traders and his accommodation to the wishes of the federal government, which favored him with gifts, mixed with his profligate ways, brought dissent. Keokuk succeeded in weathering some of the criticism of his leadership. In 1837 he led another delegation to Washington, D.C., where he contested a Sioux delegation over land claims. Even his tribal foes looked to him for his diplomatic skills. At the same time, white Americans began to consider him one of the most important American Indians of the day.

Controversy over Keokuk's leadership intensified over his use of tribal resources. Federal agents allowed Keokuk and three other chiefs (known as the "money chiefs") to distribute tribal annuities. In 1842, as the depletion of game and increased debt to traders impoverished the Sauk and Meskwaki, Keokuk negotiated the sale of remaining tribal land in Iowa. Even many of his detractors accepted the sale and agreed to remove to Kansas; others, however, especially many Meskwaki, considered the land in Iowa theirs and decried the treaty. Nonetheless, in 1845 Keokuk led his followers to Kansas, where he died in 1848. His bones were reburied in Keokuk, Iowa (although it was later discovered that the skeleton's skull was not Keokuk's).
Keokuk in 1847 by Thomas Easterly. In the bottom-right corner reads Ke-o-kuk or the Watchful Fox.  (Easterly and Artist are engraved into the frame)  For more than 3 decades, Keokuk functioned as one of the most noted Indians in the United States. Pursuing diplomacy over warfare, he endeavored to balance Sauk and Meskwaki interests with his desire to placate white interests–while also indulging his own acquisitiveness. In the end, he remained at peace with the United States but could not preserve a tribal presence in Iowa.

William T. Hagen, The Sac and Fox Indians (1958). 
Richard Metcalf, "Who Shall Rule at Home? Native American Politics and White-Indian Relations," Journal of American History 61 (1974), 651–65 
Alvin M. Josephy, The Patriot Chiefs: A Chronicle of American Indian Resistance (1958).

By Thomas Burnell Colbert "Keokuk" The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, 2009. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Grace Carpenter Hudson (American artist, 1865–1937) paints California Pomo Native Americans

Grace Carpenter Hudson (American artist, 1865–1937) Back to Her Tribe

From Europe to the Atlantic coast of America to the Pacific coast of America during the 17C-19C, settlers moved West encountering a variety of Indigenous Peoples on their journeys. Grace Carpenter Hudson (American artist, 1865–1937) was known for a numbered series of more than 684 portraits of the California Pomo Indians.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Native Americans in 1736 Georgia - Philipp Georg Friedrich von Reck 1710–1798

1736 Georgia Philipp Georg Friedrich von Reck (German artist, 1710–1798) The Georgia Indians in their natural Habit

In 1736, Philipp Georg Friedrich von Reck, then only 25 years old, sailed with other colonists from Germany to Georgia. One of his intentions, expressed in a letter before he left Europe, was to bring back from America "ocular proof" of what he called "this strange new world." Idealistic & enthusiastic, well-educated & blessed with an amazing artistic gift, von Reck kept a travel diary, wrote separate descriptions of the plants, animals & Indians he discovered in Georgia & drew some 50 watercolor & pencil sketches of what he saw.