George Winter was an English-born artist known for his chronicles of 18th century American life and geography. Much like his contemporaries, Winter was driven by adventure and eager to capture the vanishing culture of the Native American. While in Ohio, he learned of the approaching Potawatomi removal from Indiana. Coincidentally, Potawatomi emigration and annuity negotiations were held in Winter’s Washington Hall hotel. Aside from sketching the Potawatomi during the proceedings, he set up a temporary studio adjacent to the Ewing and Walker Trading Post. It was at this studio that the young Potawatomi orator and headman Iowah sat for the artist’s first commissioned portrait.
Building a reputation among local government officials, George Winter was invited by Indian Agents Lewis H. Sands and George H. Proffit to observe the Potawatomi and sketch removal negotiations at Keewaunay Village. Spending nearly two weeks at Keewaunay and another three at Crooked Creek, Winter was able to capture the Potawatomi through sketches, paintings and writings. Capturing a visual piece of American history, George Winter sketched the initial stages of the Potawatomi Trail of Death. These sketches were to become the only first-hand visual records of a Native American removal.
Burnet, Mary Q. 1921. Art and Artists of Indiana
Cooke, Sarah E. and Rachel B. Ramadhyani. 1993. Indians and a Changing Frontier: The Art of George Winter
Dye, Kitty. 2001. Meet George Winter: Pioneer Artist, Journalist, Entrepreneur
Winter, George. 1948. The Journals and Indian Paintings of George Winter, 1837-1839