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Dubuque's Grave, Upper Mississippi

1835-1836 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.330 Not currently on view


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Dubuque's Grave is a place of great notoriety on this river, in consequence of its having been the residence and mining place of the first lead mining pioneer of these regions, by the name of Dubuque, who held his title under a grant from the Mexican Government (I think), and settled by the side of this huge bluff, on the pinnacle of which he erected the tomb to receive his own body, and placed over it a cross with his own inscription on it . . . At the foot of this bluff, there is now an extensive smelting furnace, where vast quantities of lead are melted from the ores which are dug out of the hills in all directions about it.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 50, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Landscape - river - Mississippi River

Monument - gravestone - Dubuque

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added