1843 · Philadelphia
by KING, Charles Bird (artist). Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall
Philadelphia: James G. Clark, 1843. Very good. Hand-colored lithograph after Charles Bird King (496 x 355 mm), "Drawn, Printed & Coloured at the Lithographic & Print Colouring Estblishment, 94, Walnut St." Full-length standing portrait of male Seminole chief carrying a rifle, wearing striped, fringed wrap skirt, striped shirt, red sashes around neck and waist, red feathered headdress, silver arm bands, shin-high moccasins with buttons, and medal around neck. Very mild uniform age-toning (professionally washed, some short tears in extreme outer margins closed, 1" piece from upper left-hand corner torn away without loss). Preserved in a mylar sleeve. Original lithograph - NOT a reproduction! Tuko-See-Mathla, also called John Hicks, was an influential Native American leader elected head of his tribe in an election supposedly rigged by U.S. agents. He opposed U.S. slave raids into Florida, separate schools for Indians, and efforts to move Seminoles from their land. Despite his efforts, however, he eventually moved back to Alabama and was finally killed by tribesmen who opposed U.S. policies.
When leaders of various tribes came to visit President Monroe, McKenney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs and a defender of Native American interests, commissioned artist Charles Bird King to paint portraits of the delegates in their choice of dress. Most of King's original paintings subsequently burned in a fire at the Smithsonian. The lithographs in McKenney and Hall's publication are the only extant record of the likenesses of many of the prominent Native American leaders of the nineteenth century.
See: Howes M129. Bennett, American Nineteenth-Century Color Plate Books, p. 79. Field 992. Lipperheide Mc4.
(Inventory #: 3458)