001 - HUNTING THE BUFFALO View larger

001 - HUNTING THE BUFFALO - McKenney & Hall


1530 x 974 pixels 

10 x 6.5 inches


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The History of the Indian Tribes of North America is a three-volume collection of Native American biographies and accompanying lithograph portraits originally published in the United States from 1836 to 1844 by Thomas McKenney and James Hall. The majority of the portraits were first painted in oil by artist Charles Bird King. McKenney was working as the US Superintendent of Indian Trade and would head the Office of Indian Affairs, both then within the War Department. He planned publication of the biographical project to be supported by private subscription, as was typical for publishing of the time.
Believing that Native Americans were threatened as a race, McKenney wanted to preserve a record of their leaders for government archives, as well as to share it with the American people. He commissioned Charles Bird King to paint portraits of leaders who came to Washington to negotiate treaties, and James Hall to write biographies of them. The publication project incorporated lithographs made from the paintings.