New York: Pain and Burgess, 1846. Two volumes in one. 8vo. xi, [iii], -340; [ix], [ii], 10-136 pp. SECOND EDITION. With frontispiece portrait of the author in the first volume and colored frontispiece portrait of Pocahontas in the second, an additional 11 wood engravings, facsimile of a letter from Dolly Madison to the author. Publisher’s cloth, spine with gilt title and decoration; interior with some foxing, otherwise a fine copy with the ownership signature of Henry A. Breed (1842-1914) on the title. Item #17587
Second edition, published the same year as the first, of McKenney’s travels in the midwest and southern states. Memoirs describe the author’s travels during September and October, 1827 by steamboat from St. Louis to Memphis, then overland into Northern Mississippi where he held a council with the Chickasaws, then through the Choctaw country, and back to Washington by way of Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Alabama. McKenney’s narrative of navigating the Mississippi River, as well as material relating to Native Americans (especially tribal leaders) are rich and descriptive. His stories of political life in Washington during the Monroe, Adams and Jackson administrations illustrate the corruption in government contracts, especially related to Native Americans. A plan for improving the situation of the Native Americans through education programs is outlined. The second part of the work contains lectures on Indian life.
McKenney (1785–1859) served as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs between 1824 and 1830. He was known for his extensive knowledge and compassion for Native Americans, likey due to his Quaker beliefs. Even though he promoted the “civilization” program that removed Native Americans west of the Mississippi River, President Andrew Jackson eventually dismissed McKenney from his position because he held the opinion that Native Americans were the equals, morally and intellectually, to the white man.