Originally posted April 19, 2012
Many articles about the alcohol trade with Native Americans use the same image, of a sharply dressed Yankee brandishing a bottle of liquor to a tribal chief.
Oddly, none of the individuals or institutions I contacted could give a date or origin for this image, which appears to be an engraving of the type used in books and newspapers in the early 1800’s. The Yankee is often identified as a fur trader, but the reason for that is unclear – perhaps those are furs on the wagon in the background, but I have not found a version in high enough resolution to make it out. Does anybody out there have any idea where and when this might have first appeared?