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

Media - 1985.66.248,934B - SAAM-1985.66.248934B_1-000001 - 46052
Copied John Mix Stanley, International Indian Council (Held at Tallequah, Indian Territory, in 1843), 1843, oil on canvas, 40 1231 12 in. (102.880.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Misses Henry, 1985.66.248,934B
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Artwork Details

International Indian Council (Held at Tallequah, Indian Territory, in 1843)
Not on view
40 1231 12 in. (102.880.0 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the Misses Henry
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure group
  • Indian
  • History — United States — westward expansion
  • Ceremony — Indian — council
Object Number

Artwork Description

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)