History of the Butterfly, part 18: Mahaska Goes to Europe

George Catlin was an American painter.  He painted scenes from the American west, and he specialized in paintings of Native Americans.  He started in about 1830.  By 1837 he was exhibiting the paintings in New York, and there he was visited by a party of Indians (including Keokuk, Poweshiek, and Wapello) who were invited to Washington, D. C. as a part of treaty negotiations.  Mahaska (II–the son) was not invited, although he had been to Washington earlier that same year to attempt to address grievances he had against the government.

That part of the story will be told later.  George Catlin, after achieving success with his exhibits of paintings and Indian curiosities decided to tour Europe with his exhibit.  He started in about 1840 and finished in 1848.   He also invited three small groups of Native Americans to accompany him on his trip at various times.  They were part of his show–essentially a wild west show, and the Indians would dance and give speeches as a part of it.

Mahaska II was the leader of a group of 14 Ioway Indians who visited London and Paris and points in between with Mr. Catlin.  Unfortunately, the trip was marred by tragedy, not just for the Ioways but for George Catlin as well.

This portrait of George Catlin by William Fisk was from Wikimedia Commons.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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