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Battle of the Big Blue

Battle of the Big Blue
Creator: Reader, S. J.
Date: 1897
This painting depicts Union forces fighting Confederate soldiers at the Battle of the Big Blue River on October 22, 1864, the day before the defeat of Price at Westport. The artist, Samuel Reader, fought for the Union as part of the Second Kansas State Militia, whose members were was almost all from Shawnee County. Reader served as an officer in the "field and staff" of the militia with the rank of First Lieutenant, Assistant Quartermaster. In the Battle of the Big Blue he was captured by Confederates, who were on their way to Texas when Reader escaped and returned to his farm in southeast Kansas. In this painting, which is housed in a gilded wood frame (not shown), timber fences flank both sides of a tree-lined road. A stone building and horse-drawn caisson (ammunition chest) are visible to the right, and a mounted cannon is on the left. Armed men, wearing brown and blue coats, are scattered along the road. The Union infantry skirmish line, marked by a federal flag, recedes into the background. Confederate forces, with Confederate flag, are visible in the background to the left. Elizabeth Reader, the daughter of the artist, donated the painting in 1909.


Bennett C. Riley

Bennett C. Riley
Date: 1880s
This photograph shows a portrait of Bennett Riley that was probably commissioned by his family in the 1880s. Riley died June 9, 1853. The portrait has resided at the U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley, Kansas, since about 1903. Bennett Riley, after whom Fort Riley was named, had a long and prestigious career in the U. S. military. Born in Virginia in 1787, he entered the army in 1813. In 1829 he commanded the first military escort on the Santa Fe Trail. In that same year, he succeeded Colonel Henry Leavenworth as commander of Fort Leavenworth. In 1847 he became a brigadier general. He also served during the Mexican War and, in 1848, he served as the last territorial governor of California, where he helped create their state constitution.


Black Hawk, Sauk Indian

Black Hawk, Sauk Indian
Creator: Catlin, George, 1796-1872
Date: 1832
This portrait, painted by the well-known artist George Catlin, depicts the fierce leader of the Sauk and Fox tribe after his arrest in 1832. Black Hawk and some of his tribe had resisted their removal to lands west of the Mississippi River, but the Black Hawk War, as it came to be known, ended in defeat. The original of this portrait is on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.


Camp of the Peace Commissioners at Medicine Lodge Creek

Camp of the Peace Commissioners at Medicine Lodge Creek
Creator: Stieffel, Hermann
Date: 1867
A copy of the painting by Hermann Stieffel titled, Camp of the Peace Commissioners, which depicts the location of the Medicine Lodge Creek treaties with various Indian tribes in late October 1867. The original painting can be found at the Smithsonian Institution. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Custer's Last Fight

Custer's Last Fight
Creator: Adams, Cassilly C., 1843-1921
Date: 1885
A photograph copy of Custer's Last Fight, painted by Cassilly Adams, which depicts the Battle of Little Bighorn. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Custer's Last Stand

Custer's Last Stand
Date: 1870s
A drawing depicting the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 26, 1876. It is unclear whether the painter is Cassilly Adams or Theodore B. Pitman. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Deserted Kansas Town

Deserted Kansas Town
Creator: Tavernier, Jules
Date: 1873
Grisaille watercolor sketch of a deserted town street with ramshackle buildings. The sketch is titled "Deserted Kansas Town" and was executed by Jules Tavernier. Tavernier was born in Paris in 1844 and trained as an artist in France. He served as a soldier in the Franco-Prussian War, and his drawings of war-torn Paris were flown by hot air balloon to London for publication. After the war he worked as an illustrator in London and then in New York for Harper's Weekly. In 1872, Harper's sent him on a trip across the United States on an assignment to document the American West. He arrived in San Francisco in 1874. This sketch is most likely a scene that Tavernier saw while in Kansas on that trip. Tavernier went on to be a well-known artist in California before moving to Hawaii, where he was part of a group of artists known as the Volcano School. He died in Honolulu in 1889.


Free State Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas Territory

Free State Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas Territory
Creator: Gibbons, Robert O.
Date: Unknown
A painting of the Free State Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas Territory, by Robert O. Gibbons. In May 1856, the proslavery sheriff of Douglas County, Samuel Jones, led a posse into Lawrence, the major Free-State stronghold. The chief damage was the burning of the Free State Hotel as shown in this painting.


John Steuart Curry

John Steuart Curry
Date: Between 1941 and 1942
John Steuart Curry standing on a ladder by the "Tragic Prelude" mural.


Kansas Pioneers

Kansas Pioneers
Creator: Stone, George M.
Date: 1920
Small oil on canvas painting of pioneers and a wagon train descending from hill. Painting is a small study for a larger painting. In foreground, at lower right, two male figures carrying rifles. A wagon train painted in upper right. Wagons are pulled by oxen. Small dog in lower left. Women in Victorian dress, male figures, and horseman, walking near wagons. A seated Native-American figure in upper right. Because painting is a study, figures are painted with little detail. Pencil gridlines drawn onto painting by artist. Painting is housed in ridged gilded wood frame.


Kennekuk, "The Kickapoo Prophet"

Kennekuk, "The Kickapoo Prophet"
Date: between 1819 and 1845
This portrait by an unidentified artist depicts the Kickapoo chief Kennekuk, who moved with his tribe to Indian Territory (present-day Kansas) in 1832. The Kickapoo tribe had originally claimed land in Illinois, but they ceded this land to the United States in 1819. In the next year they moved to lands in Missouri, where they stayed for twelve years. The reverse of the print refers to Kennekuk as the "Kickapoo Prophet."


Last Chance Store, Council Grove, Kansas

Last Chance Store, Council Grove, Kansas
Creator: Bell, Shawna
Date: June 4, 2016
This is a watercolor of the Last Chance Store in Council Grove, Kansas. Shawna Bell painted this scene during the 2016 Kansas Archeology Training Program (KATP) Field School excavation of the Last Chance Store. The Last Chance Store was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Parsons, Kansas by Jules Tavernier

Parsons, Kansas by Jules Tavernier
Creator: Tavernier, Jules
Date: 1873
Watercolor sketch of Forest Avenue (now Broadway) in Parsons, Kansas, by Jules Tavernier. Tavernier was born in Paris in 1844 and trained as an artist in France. He served as a soldier in the Franco-Prussian War, and his drawings of war-torn Paris were flown by hot air balloon to London for publication. After the war he worked as an illustrator in London and then in New York for Harper's Weekly. In 1872, Harper's sent him on a trip across the United States on an assignment to document the American West. This piece was executed in 1873 and shows a scene Tavernier saw in Parsons while on that trip. He arrived in San Francisco in 1874. Tavernier went on to be a well-known artist in California before moving to Hawaii, where he was part of a group of artists known as the Volcano School. He died in Honolulu in 1889.


Pile Bridge, Topeka, Kansas Territory

Pile Bridge, Topeka, Kansas Territory
Creator: Worrall, Henry, 1825-1902
Date: c. 1858
A painting by Henry Worrall of a pile bridge in Topeka, Kansas Territory, painted sometime between 1857 to 1860.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Adams - Blakelock

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Adams - Blakelock
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Cassilly Adams, J. W. Albert, J. W. Alexander, Thomas Allen, Francis G. Atwood, James M. Bagley, George H. Baker, William Henry Bartlett, William Holbrook Beard, Joseph Becker, Otto Becker, Albert C. Berghaus, Albert Bierstadt, George C. Bingham, William Bishop, and Ralph A. Blakelock.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Blumenshein - Cary

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Blumenshein - Cary
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Ernest L. Blumenshein, Karl Bodmer, C. E. H. Bonwill, George D. Brewerton, Albertus Del Orient Browere, Grafton T. Brown, Joseph G. Bruff, George de Forest Brush, Edwin Bryant, J. W. Buel, Harold D. Bugbee, Elbridge Ayer Burbank, Frederick A. Butman, Edgar S. Cameron, A. H. Campbell, Solomon Carvalho, and William de la Montagne Cary.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Catlin - Deming

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Catlin - Deming
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are George Catlin, Henry Caylor, Carl Christian Anton Christensen, Samuel Colman, Vincent Colyer, George Victor Cooper, Eanger Irving Couse, H. F. Cox, Charles Craig, Henry H. Cross, Edwin A. Curley, Frank H. Cushing, Felix Octavius Carr Darley, Theodore R. Davis, Charles Deas, and Edwin W. Deming.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Dickerman - Foote

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Dickerman - Foote
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Sumner Dickerman, E. Didier, Maynard Dixon, William H. Dougal, William Herbert Dunton, John Durkin, Thomas Eakins, Lawrence C. Earl, Thomas Martin Easterly, Seth Eastman, Elk Eber, Frederick von Egloffstein, Henry A. Elkins, Henry W. Elliott, George H. Ellsbury, W. A. Emory, Henry F. Farny, Father Nicholas Point, Harry Fenn, and Mary Hallock Foote.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Ford - Hamilton

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Ford - Hamilton
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Henry Chapman Ford, R. Atkinson Fox, Paul Frenzeny and Jules Tavernier, Gilbert William Gaul, Sanford Robinson Gifford, J. B. Girard, James F. Gookins, Elling William Gollings, Adolphe Goupil, Charles Graham, Ernest Henry Griset, John Hafen, and Hamilton Hamilton.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Hansen - Hutton

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Hansen - Hutton
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Herman W. Hansen, Alexander F. Harmer, Matthew Hastings, William J. Hays, Gwynn Harris Heap, Joseph Heger, Thomas Hill, Ransome Gillett Holdridge (or Ransom Holdredge), William H. Holmes, Arthur Boyd Houghton, John D. Howland, and William Rich Hutton.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Landers - Metcalf

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Landers - Metcalf
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Emil W. Landers, Charles Alexandre Lesueur, Emanuel Leutze, Henry Lewis, Richard Lorenz, Henri Love, Marc Lucas, Arthur Lumley, Fernand H. Lungren, William Macy, F. O. Marvin, Alfred Mathews, Louis Maurer, Frank Mayer, Charles Mente, William M. Merrick, and Willard Leroy Metcalf.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Miller - Mollhausen

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Miller - Mollhausen
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Alfred J. Miller, John Harrison Mills, Alfred Mitchell, and Heinrich Balduin Mollhausen.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Moran - Reedy

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Moran - Reedy
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Peter and Thomas Moran, Samuel F. B. Morse, R. A. Muller, John Mulvany, Charles Nahl, Henry Alexander Ogden and Walter Yeager, George Martin Ottinger, Charles Parsons, Edgar Samuel Paxson, Frederick Piercy, Theodore B. Pitman, Henry R. Poore, Henry Cheever Pratt, Charles Preuss, Sam Pride, William Tylee Ranney, Edward Rapier, Frank Reaugh, Allen C. Redwood, and Leonard H. Reedy.


Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Rindesbacker - Schott

Robert Taft correspondence related to frontier artists, Rindesbacker - Schott
Date: 1930-1955
A series of research correspondence from the Robert Taft collection relating to frontier artists. Robert Taft (1894-1955) was a professor of chemistry and author on the subjects of photography and art. The artists included here are Peter Rindesbaker, Julian Rix, Cornelius Rogers, William Allen Rogers, Warren E. Rollins, Charles M. Russell, John Sartain, Frank Sauerwein, Joseph Scheuerle, A. Zeno Schindler, and Arthur Carl Victor Schott.


Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, volume 3

Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, volume 3
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: October 12-30, 1864
This autobiography is based on entries from Samuel Reader's 1864 diary. The diary entries and personal recollections of the Battle of the Big Blue, Price's Raid, and the Battle of Mine Creek were used to compile the autobiography. The autobiography also includes a number of water color and pen illustrations drawn by Reader.


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