Seth Eastman

Jan 24, 1808 - Aug 31, 1875

Seth Eastman was an artist and West Point graduate who served in the US Army, first as a mapmaker and illustrator. He had two tours at Fort Snelling, Minnesota Territory; during the second, extended tour he was commanding officer of the fort. During these years, he painted many studies of Native American life. He was notable for the quality of his hundreds of illustrations for Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's six-volume study on the history of Indian tribes of the United States, commissioned by the US Congress.
Eastman and his second wife Mary Henderson Eastman were instrumental in recording Native American life. From their time at Fort Snelling, Mary Henderson Eastman wrote a book about Dakota Sioux life and culture, which Seth Eastman illustrated. In 1838, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician.
Seth Eastman retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General for disability during the American Civil War. He was later reactivated when commissioned by Congress to make several paintings for the US Capitol. Between 1867 and 1869, Eastman painted a series of nine scenes of American Indian life for the House Committee on Indian Affairs.
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