History of the Indian Tribes of North America

With Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs

Mckenney, Thomas L.; Hall, Esq., James. Kent: Volair Limited, 1992. 1st edition thus. Limited edition, 2024 of 5000 copies. 120 colored portraits, and maps. Decorated full leather, with slipcase. 470,538 pp. Large 8vo. As near in a fine slipcase.

Exceedingly handsome modern edition of the very rare 1837 study of American Indians, which was last published in 1872. All the colored plates and maps are present from that earlier edition. Bound in full brown leather, finely embellished with gilt designs, titling and tops. Limitation card laid in. Contains a ribbon bookmark and silk endpapers. Volumes are in exceptional condition, while the cloth-covered slipcase shows occasional wear.


The History of the Indian Tribes of North America is a three-volume collection of Native American biographies and accompanying lithograph portraits originally published in the United States from 1836 to 1844 by Thomas McKenney and James Hall. The majority of the portraits were first painted in oil by artist Charles Bird King. McKenney was working as the US Superintendent of Indian Trade and would head the Office of Indian Affairs, both then within the War Department. He planned publication of the biographical project to be supported by private subscription, as was typical for publishing of the time.

Believing that Native Americans were threatened as a race, McKenney wanted to preserve a record of their leaders for government archives, as well as to share it with the American people. He commissioned Charles Bird King to paint portraits of leaders who came to Washington to negotiate treaties, and James Hall to write biographies of them. The publication project incorporated lithographs made from the paintings.


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