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Hands-on History Presents: Picturing Indigenous History. The Story of the “...

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1901 Vine Street

3rd Floor, Rare Book Department

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Hands-on History Presents: Picturing Indigenous History. The Story of the “Indian Gallery” at the United States Department of War, and its Lessons for U.S./Indigenous Diplomacy

Explore the long and complex history of the United States federal government’s relationship with the Indigenous peoples of North America by studying the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department’s copy of the History of the Indian Tribes of North America, written by Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall and printed in Philadelphia in 1848. Filled with reproductions of portraits of Indigenous people that were originally on display at the U.S. Department of War in Washington, D.C., the story of the paintings and the book’s publication offers insights into the complex history of diplomacy that shapes governmental relationships with Native American tribes to this day.
This hands-on history is presented in conjunction with 2020 One Book, One Philadelphia.

Take history in the palm of your hand: turn pages, hold manuscripts, and handle artifacts with the Hands-on History series from the Free Library's Special Collections. Curiosity seekers of all ages are welcome!

Find out more about the ​Hands-on History series!


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1901 Vine Street

3rd Floor, Rare Book Department

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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