First edition of "the grandest color plate book"
McKenney & Hall, 1836-44
McKENNEY, Thomas L. (1785-1859) and James HALL (1793-1868). History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Philadelphia: Edward C. Biddle, 1836; Frederich W. Greenough, 1838; Daniel Rice and James G. Clark, 1844.

First edition of "the grandest color plate book issued in the United States up to the time of its publication" (Reese); first state of all title pages. "Its long and checkered publication history spanned twelve years and involved multiple lithographers (mainly Peter S. Duval and James T. Bowen) and publishers, but the final product is one of the most distinctive and important books in Americana. Almost all the plates are portraits of individual Native Americans, the majority painted from life by Charles Bird King (who also reworked the less skillful portraits of James Otto Lewis). The complicated circumstances of its production have left a bibliographical stew of issues and issue points that are yet to be satisfactorily resolved" (Reese). The practice of taking portraits of the principal American Indians who came to Washington had begun as early as 1824. Chiefly painted by Charles Bird King, they were deposited in the War Department. Col. McKenney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Washington, conceived of the plan of making a collection of biographies, enhanced by the addition of the portraits. A biographical sketch accompanies each portrait, and the work also contains a general history of the various Indian tribes within the borders of the United States. State A of all title pages; "War Dance" text second printing of three. Bennett p. 79; BAL 6934; Howes M-129.

Three folio volumes (506 x 350mm). 120 lithographed plates, hand-colored, map and 17-page subscriber list present (slight crease to frontispiece of Vol.1, a couple marginal tears, scattered light offsetting from text). Half morocco (some rubbing to joints and corners).
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