cover of book

Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press
by John M Coward
University of Illinois Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-0-252-04026-9 | Paper: 978-0-252-08171-2 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09852-9
Library of Congress Classification PN4888.I52C67 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 070.44997000497

After 1850, Americans swarmed to take in a raft of new illustrated journals and papers. Engravings and drawings of "buckskinned braves" and "Indian princesses" proved an immensely popular attraction for consumers of publications like Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly . In Indians Illustrated , John M. Coward charts a social and cultural history of Native American illustrations--romantic, violent, racist, peaceful, and otherwise--in the heyday of the American pictorial press. These woodblock engravings and ink drawings placed Native Americans into categories that drew from venerable "good" Indian and "bad" Indian stereotypes already threaded through the culture. Coward's examples show how the genre cemented white ideas about how Indians should look and behave--ideas that diminished Native Americans' cultural values and political influence. His powerful analysis of themes and visual tropes unlocks the racial codes and visual cues that whites used to represent--and marginalize--native cultures already engaged in a twilight struggle against inexorable westward expansion.
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