After McKenney & Hall lithographs from History of the
Indian Tribes of North America. Thomas McKenney was the
Superintendent of the Indian Trade Bureau and later the first
head of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs from
1824 - 1830. In total, he served for 16 years under 4 different presidents.
An Indian sympathizer, McKenney realized that the Indians would
change dramatically during the western expansion of the United States, and
conceived the idea of developing a government collection of
portraits of prominent Indians who visited Washington.
McKenney commissioned Charles Bird King, a well known Washington
portraitist to paint many of them, and spent his fortune
producing his publication.
When McKenney died nearly penniless in 1859, many of the Indian tribes
east of the Mississippi had vanished, or were shabby, drunken
remnants of great races. The original painted portraits would
perish in a great fire at the Smithsonian Institute in 1865,
leaving only the marvelous lithographs produced for History
of the Indian Tribes of North America as their record.
Presented here are reproduction prints from the original lithographs
found in McKenney & Halls historical work.
From 1830 to 1870, Brooklyn, New York experienced heavy commercial and manufacturing growth. The waterfront was transformed and the East River was packed with frenetic activity. The river was full of ferries steaming between Manhattan and Brooklyn and fully rigged ships heading out to sea. This is a facsimile reproduction of an engraving that was created circa 1854 picturing the bustling city and river..