Seth Eastman at Dighton Rock
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Horatio B. King
American, July 7, 1853
3 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.

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Draftsman, painter, and watercolorist Seth Eastman appears seated atop the inscribed rock, a proper gentleman in high collar and vest contrasted with the natural setting and primitive, cryptic carvings. Eastman had been commissioned to illustrate Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's monumental book, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Here Eastman collaborated with Horatio King, a local Taunton, Massachusetts, daguerreotypist, who made the photograph. Based on the information provided in this photograph, Schoolcraft concluded that the Native American inscriptions, which had been highlighted with white chalk so that they would show up more clearly in the photograph, dated from American prehistory.