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I thought this would be nice place to commemorate and honor my Shawnee heritage by collecting the earliest images of tribal members that I could find so that my family members and others could see what the Shawnee people looked like in and around the time period about which I am writing.

Seated, Emma (BlueJacket) Renfrow; standing, Gertrude Alice (Grass) Hinshaw. The boys: Gaylord Adolphus Hinhsaw, Joe Dale Hinshaw and Felix Carlyle Hinshaw. Photo courtesy of and permission to post granted by my cousin Gaylord Carlyle Hinshaw, Sr., a direct descendant of Chief BlueJacket:

Gaylord Adolphus Hinshaw, direct descendant of Chief BlueJacket. Photo courtesy of and permission to post granted by Gaylord Carlyle Hinshaw, Sr.:

Emma Blue Jacket, Cherokee-Adopted Shawnee, b. Blue Jacket’s Crossing, Kansas Territory, 1854; d. 1916, Vinita, Oklahoma and Chief Blue Jacket. Painted by Hal Sherman (1911-2009), Englewood, Ohio. Photos courtesy of and permission to post granted by my cousin Gaylord Carlyle Hinshaw, Sr., a direct descendant of Emma Blue Jacket and Chief Blue Jacket:

Carlyle wrote to me about the artist:

“Hal Sherman was an artist in Englewood OH who became interested in the Bluejacket family. He was inspired to become a painter of Indian history after viewing Howard Chandler Christy’s painting of the ‘Signing of the Greene Ville Treaty’ at the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio while on a school field trip.  He practiced on the back of his mother’s tablecloth with crayons.  Hal taught himself to paint the old style from early American painters in books.  Old style appealed to museums and collectors and opened a unique market for historical paintings.

“His work has been displayed in historical society museums throughout Ohio and on book covers and books.  The Ohio Historical Society used his works in their teaching program.  Paintings are displayed in the Indiana State Museum and in the State Department in Washington D.C. 225th Celebration of the Great Seal of the United States.  His work can be found in areas as far away as Canada.” 

Blue Jacket, a watercolor by artist Don Rankin. The painting is on display at a museum in Vinita, Oklahoma. Mr. Rankin used a very detailed description of Blue Jacket given at the time he was still alive along with a a large collection of photographs of members of the Blue Jacket family for this painting. Photo courtesy of and permission to post granted by my cousin Carlyle Hinshaw, a direct descendant of Chief Blue Jacket.

A little more about Professor Rankin from his website: “Don is currently a full time Assistant Professor of Art in the School of the Arts, at  Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, teaching color theory, structure of design, painting and drawing.  Don has an earned Ph.D. in Visual Communication with a specialty in American Indian imagery.  He is an artist member of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association, Oil Painters of America and the Portrait Society of America. He is a former President and one of the co-founders of the Southern Watercolor Society.”

Julia Ann Ellick Bird, great granddaughter of the renowned chief Silver Heels (brother of Chief Cornstalk), Shawneetown, Kansas Territory, circa 1860s. Photo courtesy of and permission to post granted by my cousin Jim Lee, great grandson of Julia Ann Ellick Bird:

Julia Ann Ellick Bird. Photo courtesy of and permission to post granted by Jim Lee.

Payta-Kootha or Flying Clouds by Henry Inman after Charles Bird King (original painting by King was destroyed by fire at the Smithsonian Institution in 1865). Flying Clouds was about 55 years old when he sat for the the original portrait. He also called himself “Captain Reed” in honor of a Revolutionary War officer who had befriended him:

Lay-loo-ah-pee-ai-shee-kaw or Grass, Bush, Blossom, Shawnee, by George Catlin, 1830, Kansas Territory:

Lay-la-she-kaw or Goes Up the River, an aged chief, by George Catlin, 1830. The artist wrote of the subject, “Is a very aged, but extraordinary man, with a fine and intelligent head, and his ears slit and stretched down to his shoulders, a custom highly valued in this tribe; which is done by severing the rim of the ear with a knife, and stretching it down by wearing heavy weights attached to it at times, to elongate it as much as possible, making a large orifice, through which, on parades, &c. they often pass a bunch of arrows or quills, and wear them as ornaments”:

Kay-te-qua or The Female Eagle, Shawnee, daughter of Chief Lay-law-she-kaw, by George Catlin, 1830:

Ten-squat-a-way, otherwise known as the The Profit, part Creek; brother of Tecumseh. Smithsonian Art Museum.  Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.279. At the Smithsonian website, they document that Catlin wrote: “The ​‘Shawnee Prophet,’ is perhaps one of the most remarkable men, who has flourished on these frontiers for some time past. This man is brother of the famous Tecumseh, and quite equal in his medicines or mysteries, to what his brother was in arms; he was blind in his left eye, and in his right hand he was holding his ​‘medicine fire,’ and his ​‘sacred string of beads’ in the other. With these mysteries he made his way through most of the North Western tribes, enlisting warriors wherever he went, to assist Tecumseh in effecting his great scheme, of forming a confederacy of all the Indians on the frontier, to drive back the whites and defend the Indians’ rights; which he told them could never in any other way be protected … [he] had actually enlisted some eight or ten thousand, who were sworn to follow him home; and in a few days would have been on their way with him, had not a couple of his political enemies from his own tribe… defeated his plans, by pronouncing him an imposter … This, no doubt, has been a very shrewd and influential man, but circumstances have destroyed him … and he now lives respected, but silent and melancholy in his tribe.” Records show that the Prophet was living west of the Mississippi by 1830, which suggests that Catlin painted this portrait at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) on his earliest journey to the West. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 49, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)”:

“Shawano Indians,” George Catlin, 1861-1869.  L-R “Kay-te-qua, the Female Eagle; Hunter; Lay-law-she-kaw, Goes Up the River, chief; Ten-squa-ta-way, The Profit; unidentified children.  Paul Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art.

Paw-te-coo-caw or Pah-te-Coo-Saw, otherwise known as the “Straight Man,” by George Catlin.  Straight Man sat for the portrait in 1830, Kansas River, Oklahoma Territory. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.280  From the Smithsonian’s website:  Pah-te-Coo-Saw “came to sit for his portrait, he had decorated his face ​“in a very curious manner with black and red paint.” The warrior has slightly European features and appears to be wearing a European shirt and coat. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 49, 1841; reprint 1973)”:

Qua-ta-wa-pea, otherwise known as Colonel John Lewis, Shawnee chief. Qua-ta-wa-pea adopted his English name in honor of his white friend. McKenney and Hall, based on the painting by Charles Bird King”

Ca-ta-he-cas-sa, otherwise known as Black Hoof, Principal Chief of the Shawnee, courtesy of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1836 – 1844:

Kish-kal-wa, Shawnee Chief1832-1833, by Henry Inman, after Charles King Bird; oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Gerald and Kathleen Peters, 2019.12.1.:

McKenny and Hall, after Charles Bird King:

Billy Shane, a Shawnee Chief, who fought for the Americans and was wounded at the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada, by James Otto Lewis.  The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1836:

Shawnees by Heinrich B. Mullaussen, originally from manuscripts in the Oklahoma Historical Society:

Check back often! More images on their way soon!

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