Native American Indian, Antique Mckenney and Hall hand-colored lithograph of Kai-Pol-E-Qia A Saukie Brave taken from the antique book History of the Indian Tribes of North America. C. 1855. Published by D. Rice and A. N. Hart of Philadelphia. Thomas McKenney (1785-1859) worked in the War Department first as Superintendent of Indian Trade and eventually as Head of the Office of Indian Affairs. He wanted to document the prominent Native Americans he met and commissioned the artist Charles Bird King (1785-1862) who painted the majority of these portraits. Charles painted these portraits when prominent Native American leaders were negotiating peace treaties in Washington D.C. Sadly, most of the original oil portrait paintings were destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution in 1865, making the lithographic images some of the only remaining documentation of this important work. The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma has 12 original Charles Bird King Native American portraits.
To reach a wider audience, Mckenney decided to write a book with lithographs of these portraits along with their biographies. James Hall was given the task of obtaining biographies, which took him eight years since the only information he had of the sitter was his name and tribe. The original folio version of 1837 was quite costly and The Publisher D. Rice and A. N. Hart of Philadelphia worked to make a new version in 1844 with 1250 subscribers to this three volume first edition.
Sadly, most of the original oil portrait paintings were destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution in 1865, making these lithographic images some of the only remaining documentation of Mckenney/King’s important work. The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma has 12 original Charles Bird King Native American portraits.
The lithograph of Kai-Pol-E-Qua A Saukie Brave was taken from an early edition of History of the Indian Tribes of North America. He has a feather on the back of his head, multiple earings in both ears and carries a sword. He is brightly colored with a few smudges and some yellowing to the paper. There is a very small tear at the upper edge of the lithograph. The publisher is noted at the bottom. I have examined the lithograph under a loop and it is hand colored. There is one page of his biography from the book to be included with the print. The Warriors of the Saukie nation are divided up into bands, or parties, one of which is called Kishkoquis, or the Long Hairs, and the other Oshecush or the brave. Kaipolequa was the leader of the Oshecush or braves. The braves would paint themselves with charcoal when going into battle while the longhairs used red paint. Kaipolequa gained his position as leader through outstanding military abilities. The saukies assign their sons to one of these groups at birth. The oldest sons are assigned into the long hairs while the second son is assigned into the braves and this alternates with each son. In 1826, there were about 500 members of each warrior group.
Date: Circa 1855
Marks: Published by D Rice and A.N.Hart Philad Lith. Printed $ Col. By J. T, Bowen
Size: Approximately 10.25 by 6. 75 inches
Condition: Bright Lithographic colors without fading, as it was never framed. Some smudges as pictured. Rough edge where removed from book. I have not attempted to clean the print nor have I evened up the rough edge from where it was taken from the book
Antique Mckenney and Hall Lithograph of Kai-Pol-E-Qua, Native American Indian Brave