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Thomas McKenney and James Hall: HISTORY OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA, Volume One (only). 32 plates present. Front cover, some color plates, and early pages, including title page, are missing. This partially complete single volume appears to be the first edition, published by Edward C. Biddle in Philadelphia in 1837. It retains 32 original plates: War Dance, Red Jacket, Kishkalawa, Pushmataha, Elskwautawaw, Eshtahumleah, Waapashaw, Meetakoosega, Weshcubb, Little Crow, Sequoyah, Nawkaw, Quatawapea, Payta Kootha, Pashepaw, Peamuska, Catahecassa, An Objibway Mother and Child, Okeemakeequid, Waemboeshkaa, Mcintosh, Ongpatonga, Nesouaquoit, Moanahonga, Tahchee, Ancamegishca, Wabishkeepenas, Tshusick, Lappawinsoe, Tishcohan, Shahaka, Tokacon. Sheet size of plates: 15" x 20". Provenance: private Middle Tennessee collection. History: The idea for this landmark book was conceived by Thomas McKenney, head of the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs. Through his job, McKenney had the opportunity to travel and become acquainted with Native American tribes and their leaders. By about 1820 he had become increasingly concerned about the survival of Native American culture in the face of Western expansionism. McKenney believed American Indians should be "looked up on as human beings, having bodies and souls like ours" and wanted to preserve "in the archives of the Government whatever of the aboriginal man can be rescued from the destruction which awaits their race." McKenney began commissioning portraits of American Indians who traveled to Washington, DC to negotiate treaties with the federal government. Charles Bird King and Peter Rindisbacher were among those artists hired to depict Native American chiefs, warriors and squaws, either from life or from watercolors by frontier artists like James Otto Lewis. In 1829, McKenney was dismissed from his post by President Andrew Jackson. McKenney began commissioning lithographs of the paintings in order to reach a wider audience through a subscription-based publishing project, and hired Judge James Hall to write biographies of the sitters and a general history of North American Indians. It became the most elaborate color plate book published in the United States when it was released over a multi-year period from c. 1837-1944. Sadly, all but five of the original paintings were destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865. HISTORY OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA preserves what is considered the best and in some cases the only likenesses of many of the most notable Native Americans of the period. Provenance: by descent in the family of Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Greene Woodson of Birmingham, Alabama. Condition: Front cover missing, rear cover fully detached; significant losses to spine. Some first pages missing (Red Jacket biography is the first attached page present). Pages and plates with varying degrees of foxing and toning but largely intact, except for War Dance, Red Jacket, Kishkalawa and Pushmataha. War Dance – significant toning, edge chipping and losses, 2" tear across title, 4" dampstain across top. Red Jacket – 1 1/2" tear at center edge. 1" tear to top edge. Significant side chipping. Very discolored. Kishkalawa – Edge chipping with narrow losses up to 4"L, 1" tears at top and side edges, corners chipped. Pushmataha – corner losses. Nesouaquoit portrait and biography was removed from binding by previous owner but is present and original to this book. Many plates are still in good condition with dark and bright coloring.