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Seth Eastman: The Soldier Artist

Seth Eastman: The Soldier Artist

by Patricia Condon Johnston

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The Artist (continued)

Possibly through Sibley’s support, Eastman eventually won a five-month furlough. In 1849, now forty-one years old, Captain Eastman and his family settled in Washington, and Eastman was happily at work on the Indian pictures.


It was a monumental work that for Eastman consumed five years. During that time, he completed some 275 pages of illustrations to accompany Schoolcraft’s six-volume Information Regarding the History, Conditions, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. When Volume I came off the press in early 1851, Eastman could take just pride in his accomplishment. His precise and exquisitely executed illustrations of Indian life, painted almost entirely from his frontier sketches, proved that he was singularly the best-qualified person in the country to undertake this epic work.


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