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Alex Hesler

Falls of Minnehaha, Minnesota
about 1855
salted paper print
8 x 6 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs ollection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

This early print was made from a glass negative and is most probably a copy of a daguerreotype Hesler had made earlier. The original daguerreotype was reportedly sold from Hesler’s Chicago studio to the brother of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts who, in 1854, gave it to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It helped to inspire Longfellow’s narrative poem, The Song of Hiawatha.