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Oneida Stone, Utica Cemetery

Not on view

Oneida Stone, Utica Cemetery

Artist: Seth Eastman (American, 1808-1875)

Date: before 1855
Medium: Watercolor, ink and graphite, on light cream, medium weight, wove paper
Overall: 9 11/16 x 12 7/8in. (24.6 x 32.7cm)
Inscribed: signed and labeled in ink on recto. Also "8" in lower rt. corner. Erased graphite inscriptions below inked title. Pin holes in upper left and lower left corners. Additional pin holes along paper edge on all four sides corresponding with image; possibly used to create a trans for grid with string for production of engraving original mat (modern) contains pencil inscriptions: "H31" and "l 94.259.47" and rubber stamp of "James Jerome Hill Reference Library..."
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2004.5
Label Text
This watercolor served as the source for one of the engraved images published in Henry Schoolcraft's monumental, six-volume History and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States (1853-56). The Oneida Stone is a large, geologically erratic igneous (syenite) boulder from which the Oneidas took their name. The "People of the Stone" consider this rock a sacred tribal symbol of prosperity and success. Eastman's watercolor depicts the stone on a raised mound of earth after it was removed in the fall of 1849 from ancestral Oneida tribal lands in central New York State to Utica's newly established Forest Hill Cemetery. At that time there were only about two hundred Oneidas living on a very small parcel of territory. The stone remained at Forest Hill until 1974 when it was returned to its owners. It sits today beside the Oneida Nation's territorial council house near Oneida, NY.


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