Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 126

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(AMERICAN INDIANS.) Charles Fenderich, artist and lithographer. P.P. Pitchlynn, Speaker of the National Council of the Choctaw Nation. Lithograph, 17 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches, printed chine-collé on a printed heavy paper mount; minimal wear. Washington [Philadelphia]: P.S. Duval, 1842

Additional Details

Peter Perkins Pitchlynn (1806-1881) was a Choctaw from Mississippi, the son of a Scottish-born father who was raised among the Choctaw himself. He graduated from the University of Nashville and became an important educator, moving with his people to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. When this portrait was done he was serving as Choctaw delegate to the United States, and became chief of the Choctaws in 1864.

Shortly after this portrait was done, visiting author Charles Dickens had an intense conversation with Pitchlynn while on a steamboat on the Ohio River, which he described at length in his American Notes: "He was a remarkably handsome man; some years past forty, I should judge; with long black hair, an aquiline nose, broad cheek-bones, a sunburnt complexion, and a very bright, keen, dark, and piercing eye. There were but twenty thousand of the Choctaws left, he said, and their number was decreasing every day." Pitchlynn noted "with a good-humoured smile and an arch shake of his head, that the English used to be very fond of the Red Men when they wanted their help, but had not cared much for them, since." Pitchlynn "sent me a lithographed portrait of himself soon afterwards; very like, though scarcely handsome enough; which I have carefully preserved in memory of our brief acquaintance."