History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs (3 Volumes)
History of the Indian tribes of North America, with biographical sketches and anecdotes of the principal chiefs. Embellished with one hundred and twenty portraits, from the Indian Gallery in the Department of War, at Washington. (3 volumes)
Thomas L McKenney; James Hall
Philadelphia, J.T. Bowen, 1848, 1849, 1850.
[Landmark Work in 19th Century Ethnology with Exquisite Colored Portraits of American Indians] The first octavo edition, 26 x 16 cm. 3 volume set, printed 1848, 1849, and 1850, respectively. Bound in black leather over marbled boards. Marbled edges. Collated: iv, 333 pp.; xviii, 11-290 pp.; iv, 17-392 pp. Complete with 120 hand-colored plates, and the colored dedication lithograph to Washington. A fresh, mostly clean copy. Plates by J.T. Bowen, most after Charles Bird King, some by James Otto Lewis and George Cooke. According to Howes, the plates are "the most colorful portraits of Indians ever executed." Charles Bird King was employed by the War Department to paint portraits of visiting Indian delegates. King painted from life Indian leaders of at least twenty tribes, including: Sequoyah, Red Jacket, Major Ridge, Cornplanter, and Osceola. Most of King's original paintings in the Indian Gallery of the War Department, were destroyed in the 1865 Smithsonian fire at the Smithsonian Castle. As a result, these books contain one of the only surviving records of King's portraits. "The plates are accurate portraits of celebrated chiefs, or of characteristic individuals of the race; and are colored with care, to faithfully represent their features and costumes." - Field 992. Sabin 43411; Howes M129.