Menominee Chief Oshkosh in 1858
Menominee chief Oshkosh was born in 1795, probably near Nekoosa (Point Bas) on the Wisconsin River. Although as a young man he fought with the British during the War of 1812, Oshkosh went on to side with the Americans during the Black Hawk War of 1832. He played a prominent part in treaty negotiations in the 1830s and 1840s as the Menominee tried to preserve their lands from resettled New York Indians and American pioneers.
Samuel Brookes completed this portrait of Chief Oshkosh shortly before his death in 1858. It is believed that he only very rarely wore a hat like the one shown here -- when he sat for Brookes at the end of his life and when a photograph of him was taken somewhat earlier.