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Army officer paints watercolor of Kiowa Chief

September
17
1845

On this day in 1845, army officer and explorer James William Abert visited the village of Kiowa Chief Dohäsan in the Texas Panhandle. Abert commanded a party of some thirty-three men assigned to explore the Canadian River region in the summer and fall of 1845. The young lieutenant made several sketches and watercolors of activities at Bent's Fort, of native animals, and of outstanding Indians, including Dohäsan. Dohäsan had become principal chief of the Kiowas in the spring of 1833. His likeness was painted at least twice, by George Catlin in 1834 and by Abert in 1845. In 1967 and 1970, the Abert journals were published under the title Through the Country of the Comanche Indians in the Fall of the Year 1845 , edited by John Galvin, a California historian. They featured illustrations of Abert's watercolors, many of which were obtained from his descendants.

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