Seth Eastman

1808 - 1875
Draftsman, Painter, Military Officer
Origin: United States
Born: 1808, Brunswick, Maine
Died: 1875, Washington, D.C.

As a career military man, Seth Eastman traveled along the Mississippi frontier during the first half of the nineteenth century as part of his service in the army. After graduating from West Point in 1829, he served as a topographical draftsman at Fort Crawford in Wisconsin and Fort Snelling in Minnesota. He regularly sketched the Indians and landscapes of the military forts where he served and also learned the languages and customs of many tribes, especially the Dakotas and Chippewas. From 1833 to 1840, Eastman taught drawing at West Point, continued to study art under C.R. Leslie and Robert W. Weir, and exhibited at the Apollo Gallery and National Academy of Design. He returned to Fort Snelling in 1841 to continue his Indian studies. After tours of duty in Texas and Utah, he served in the Civil War as a quartermaster general and then retired as a brigadier general. Congress commissioned the artist to paint Indian and fort scenes for the Capitol building in 1867.

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Skinning the Buffalo
n.d., Engraving
Seth Eastman
United States, 1808 - 1875