Philadelphia: E.C. Biddle, 1837. J.T. Bowen. unbound. Portrait. Lithograph with original hand coloring. Page measures 20.25" x 14" very good.
Beautiful portrait from the folio edition of McKenney and Hall's "History of the Indian Tribes of North America". As Superintendent of the Indian Trade Bureau, Thomas McKenney wanted to document the rapidly disappearing culture of the American natives. He activated the project, sponsored by the War Department, by commissioning writer James Hall and Charles Bird King, a renowned American portraitist. King painted the prominent Indians while they visited Washington D.C. as treaty delegates. Most of the original oil paintings were destroyed by fire in the Smithsonian Museum in 1865. These lithographs, published 1842-58, are all that remain and are still hailed as one of the best visual records of influential Native Americans of the nineteenth century. Sha-Ha-Ka was known for his friendship with the explorers Lewis and Clark who met him in the villages near the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota. The chief was persuaded to go to Washington D.C. with them where he was subsequently paraded around eastern cities as a typical savage from the Wild West. Overall toning and offsetting. Light scattered foxing and staining. Slight tape residue along top edge. One of many Native American portraits in our collection.