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Type of Item
Letter from Engku Temenggung Seri Maharaja (Daing Ibrahim), Ruler of Johor, to Napoleon III, Emperor of France
This beautiful royal Malay letter from the ruler of Johor, Temenggung Daing Ibrahim, to the Emperor of France, written in Singapore in 1857, is a triumph of style over substance. Its 13 golden lines pay effusive compliments to Napoleon III but convey little else. It is hard to know what either side hoped to gain from the despatch of such a magnificent missive, for in the mid-19th century French interests in Southeast Asia were primarily focused on Indochina, while Johor’s allegiance was firmly with the British. In the letter ...
Active Passage, Saturna Group, Looking West
The Northwest Boundary Survey of 1857-61 was a joint U.S.-British project to survey the border between the United States and Canada from the crest of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Carried out jointly by American and British experts, it involved four years of strenuous work in rugged and heavily forested terrain. James Madison Alden (1834-1922) was a Massachusetts artist who, in 1854, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and worked as a cartographer on a project to chart the California coast. In January 1858, Alden became ...
The Days of Mutiny
Ayām-i Ghadr (The days of mutiny) is a historical account of events related to the Indian Mutiny of 1857, an uprising of native soldiers (sepoys) against the army of the British East India Company, which marked an important step in India’s struggle for independence and freedom from British rule. The manuscript is a rare unpublished source on Indian history, and particularly on the Mutiny of 1857. It contains two paintings, at page 108 and page 175, which depict events described in the text.
View of the Caquetá River near the Port of Descansé, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a party of Amerindians crossing the Caquetá River on a flat-bottomed boat, while two others, perhaps fishermen, are busy on the bank. The Caquetá River rises in fertile, mountainous southwestern Colombia and becomes a major waterway as it flows east across the country’s vast plains. In Brazil, where it is called the Japurá, it ultimately joins the Amazon. The region of Caquetá enjoyed special territorial status at times in the 1840s and 1850s. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s ...
Indian Male and Female of the Macaguaje Nation, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows an Amerindian family of Macaguaje ethnicity. The Macaguaje speak the languages Macaguaje (also called Siona) and Koreguaje. Very few members of this group are now believed to remain. Paz depicts a couple in traditional dress. The man has a bodoquera (blowgun) used for hunting small animals; the woman carries a child in a basket hanging from a head strap. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities ...
Correguaje Indians in Their Traditional Garments, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows members of an Amerindian ethnic group. Paz calls them Correguajes, which is also the name of their language (now usually spelled Koreguaje). Koreguaje speakers live in present-day Caquetá Department in southern Colombia. The people appear to be participating in a ceremonial ritual, with musical instruments, ornate headwear, and necklaces. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial ...
Priest Manuel M. Albis, with Converted Mocoa Indians, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows the priest Manuel Albis with Mocoa Indians who had become Catholics. Albis is known to have been interested in learning about the peoples he encountered in southern Colombia, and published scholarly work on the Andaquí language spoken by people living near Mocoa (also called Lowland Inga). These groups lived along the upper Caquetá and Putumayo Rivers in present-day Caquetá Department. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily ...
Converted Andaqui People, Producing Pita Fiber in Descansé, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows three Andaqui people in Caquetá Territory (present-day Cauca Department), engaged in obtaining pita fiber from the plant Agave Americana. The material was used to make cordage, matting, and rough cloth. The Andaqui lived at the southern end of the Cordillera Oriental. Paz characterizes the people as reducidos, which meant that they lived in a reduction, or mission town, and had become Catholics under the influence of Spanish missionaries. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of ...
An Andaqui Indian. Miguel Mosquera, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows an Andaqui Amerindian, together with a black or mixed-race man identified as Miguel Mosquera, one of a pair of twins who were among the most trusted guides and interpreters with whom Paz worked. Paz captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed ...
Guaqui Indians, Caquetá Territory
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows indigenous Guaqui people in the area of present-day Caquetá Department, southern Colombia. They appear to be gathering fruit from the tall palm trees that grow in this lush forest region. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at ...
Dale, Ross and Withers, Importers and Jobbers of Silks and Fancy Goods, 219 Market Street and 42 Commerce Street, Philadelphia
This advertisement shows the front facade of the five-story storefront built circa 1857 at 219 Market Street in Philadelphia. The building is adorned with the name of the business and the street number on the roof. The print also shows line-drawn partial views of adjacent buildings. The partnership of Dale, Ross & Withers, leading silk merchants in the United States, was formed in 1843 and relocated to this address in 1857. By the mid-1860s, Withers had left the partnership. The illustration is by Stephen Decatur Button (1813-97) and was printed by ...
Rockhill & Wilson, Tailors & Clothiers of Men & Boys Wear, Numbers 205 & 207 Chestnut Street & 28 South 6th Street
William H. Rease, born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, was the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. This advertisement shows the wide, spacious interior of the clothing store tenanted by Daniel H. Rockhill and Franklin S. Wilson at 205−7 (later 603−5) Chestnut Street. Clerks and patrons organize and sort through goods displayed in piles on tables throughout the ornately decorated store, which is adorned by pilasters, rounded pediments, rosettes, and flowery chandeliers and light fixtures. Two clerks assist patrons in the foreground ...
Black Waters: The Strange History of Port Blair
Tavarikh-i ‘ajib (Black waters: The strange history of Port Blair) is an account of the British penal colony of Port Blair, located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean. The British first established a naval base and penal colony on the islands in 1789, which they had abandoned by 1796 because of disease. Following the Uprising of 1857 (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion), the British authorities in India saw a new need for a secure prison in a remote location, and construction began in Port Blair ...