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ERIC Number: EJ812705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Letter to, and Paintings by, George Catlin
Rosenbaum, David; Potter, Lee Ann; Eder, Elizabeth K.
Social Education, v72 n4 p171-176 May-Jun 2008
Letters received and sent by Secretary of War Lewis Cass in the 1830s reveal much about relations between the U.S. government and Native Americans. In the immediate aftermath of the Indian Removal Act, signed into law on May 28, 1830, by President Andrew Jackson, some letters came from interpreters and school teachers seeking payment for their work; others dealt with trade issues; some addressed the exchange of ceremonial gifts; and still others came from individuals requesting government assistance with a variety of matters involving Native Americans and access to the West. In January 1832, Pennsylvania-born artist George Catlin (1796-1872) sent such a letter to Secretary of War Cass. Writing from St. Louis, Missouri, Catlin told Cass of his plans to travel through "Indian Country" for the purpose of painting portraits of Indians and requested a letter of support that he could give to the various government officials, known as Indian agents, whom he would meet along his proposed journey. On February 18, 1832, Cass responded from his office in Washington, D.C. In this single-page letter, the Department of War's copy of which is featured in this article, Cass told Catlin that his plans were "laudable." He further recommended that Catlin show Cass's letter to the Indian agents, and indicated confidence that they would be helpful. This article helps students explore the encounter of two cultures. (Contains 2 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A