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  McKenney & Hall. “Red Jacket, A Seneca War Chief,” 1834 [Horan 116].  
McKenney, Red-Jacket, 1834

McKenney & Hall. “Red Jacket, A Seneca War Chief,” 1834 [Horan 116]. Folio edition from the painting by Charles Bird King, with text page. Lithograph with exquisite bright original hand color. Sheet size: 20 x 14 1/4". Right edge of sheet is unevenly trimmed and has minor glue residue where formerly bound into portfolio, not affecting image. Overall fine.


“Red Jacket was no fabled warrior,” writes James Horan. “His favorite weapon was his eloquence, never a musket. Colonel McKenney compared him to Cicero, a man who better understood how to lead his countrymen to war instead of leading them into battle. He first appeared as the spokesman of his people during the 1786 great council of the confederated Indians held at the mouth of the Detroit River. The Six Nations above all Indian nations were lovers of intelligence and eloquence. The notes of that treaty described his address as a ‘masterpiece of oratory,’ and the oratorical powers of Red Jacket were compared to the Virginian John Randolph, whose silver voice and brilliance never failed to cast a spell over the Senate. . . . [Red Jacket] died January 20, 1830, in a small clapboard house in the Seneca village.”

Ref.: James D. Horan, The McKenney-Hall Portrait Gallery of American Indians (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1972).

Copyright 2003, William R. Talbot