The surveyor John C. Frémont hired Edward Meyer Kern to accompany him as a topographical illustrator on his third expedition from St. Louis to California. Kern and his two brothers also accompanied Frémont on his fourth expedition following the Mexican War of 1846–48. He later published seventy-two illustrations of Native Americans taken from his travels across the Southwest. Some of these images were reproduced in Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s Indian Tribes of the United States. Kern was prolific, but his career was cut short by health problems. He was an epileptic and died at age forty.