1855, "a-MIS-QUAM," McKenney & Hall

   Home ] Up ]




Amisquam, or the "Wooden Ladle," a noted leader of the Winnebagoes, a fierce and restless tribe of the Upper Mississippi, was the son of a Winnebago woman and a French father named Descarrie.  He was a war chief, who led large parties of his people and gained reputation by the sagacity b which he directed these military enterprises. He usually assembled his braves at Prairie du Chien and before going out always adorned himself with a string of beads which he wore around his neck. This was the prize for the first of his warriors who killed an enemy and brought the head to the leader. The trophy was always given on the spot. his beautiful portrait is from McKenney & Hall’s Indian Tribes of North America, Rice & Hart, Philadelphia, 1855. (page size: 6 7/8" wide x 10 ½" high). This copper plate engraved and original hand colored plate was based on the original painting by Charles Bird King, who was employed by the U.S. War Department to paint the Indian delegates visiting Washington, D.C. Most of Byrd’s original oil paintings were lost in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution. Thomas Loraine McKenney, a bureaucrat, who served as Superintendent of Indian Trade and with the Office of Indian Affairs, joined with James Hall, a lawyer and writer, saw their publishing product as one way to preserve an accurate visual record of a quickly receding culture. This engraving is in excellent condition.


Copyright ® 2011