James Otto Lewis started out as an engraver in Philadelphia around 1815. Fascinated by what he learned of the western territories, as a young man he went west in 1819. Traveling with the governor of the Michigan Territory Lewis worked for the United States government painting official portraits of Native Americans in the course of his employment which included attending numerous treaties and ceremonies so these are painted from life. Learn more about him here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Otto_Lewis. Quite a few so more for later posts, too.
These are from a set of portraits painted by Inman in 1832 and 1833 in preparation for the production of hand-colored lithographs for Thomas L. McKenney’s “The History of the Indian Tribes of North America.” These leaders had originally been painted from life by Charles Bird King, when invited to Washington by the United States government and greeted by President James Monroe in 1822. King’s portraits were destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian Museum in 1865 but Inman’s have survived. (The above referenced information is taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art description of the portrait of “Pes-Ke-Le-Cha-Co.” above.
Note: there are 13 of these plates, these are merely the first three with more posts with the others yet to come. These were published towards the end of Catlin’s life, but the images and the text refer back to a visit in July of 1832 when Catlin was joined by, among others, a J. Kipp who was agent for the Missouri Fur Company.