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International Indian Council (Held at Tallequah, Indian Territory, in 1843)

1843 John Mix Stanley Born: Canandaigua, New York 1814 Died: Detroit, Michigan 1872 oil on canvas 40 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (102.8 x 80.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Misses Henry 1985.66.248,934B Not currently on view


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In the mid-nineteenth century, the United States government moved tribes from the Southeast to Indian Territory, which later became Oklahoma and Kansas. In 1843, Cherokee principal chief John Ross called a meeting of the tribes at Tallequah (also spelled Tahlequah) to “renew their ancient customs, and to revive their ancient alliances.” Hundreds of Native Americans attended, as did several United States government officials. John Mix Stanley was there, and a contemporary newspaper reported that the artist had with him a “Daguerreotype apparatus.” Stanley may have relied on the camera as the basis for the detailed portrait of Zachary Taylor, the gray-haired man in the center of the composition wearing a military frock coat and holding a palmetto hat. Taylor was the top-ranking government official at the meeting. (Schimmel, “John Mix Stanley and the Imagery of the West in the Nineteenth Century.” PhD diss., 1983)

Keywords

Ceremony - Indian - council

Ethnic - Indian

Figure group

History - United States - westward expansion

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About John Mix Stanley

Born: Canandaigua, New York 1814 Died: Detroit, Michigan 1872

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John Mix Stanley