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George Catlin
Co-ee-há-jo, a Chief
1938
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.



Co-ee-há-jo wears the turban-style headdress and trappings of a Seminole chief, and the rifle evokes his bravery in battle. The U.S. Army's war against the Seminoles in the Florida peninsula was one of the longest campaigns against the Indians, lasting from 1835 to 1842. Co-ee-há-jo was captured and held at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. More than 4,000 Seminoles were removed to the West, a policy Catlin considered “misguided and inhuman.”