Original: 1908, Watercolor

When Russell visited the Montana Historical Society in 1909, he walked in with a painting, signed their guest book, and gave the painting to Librarian William Y. Pemberton.  The painting York depicts members of the Hidatsa tribe meeting Captain William Clark’s slave and a member of the Corps of discovery.  Many of the natives in the area had not seen an African American person before meeting York.  Some Hidatsa felt the dark complexion of York’s skin meant he had special powers.  Hidatsa Chief Le Borgne, portrayed in the painting, through York was only painted black and, as show in the piece, tried to rub the paint off his skin.

Dimensions: 22 x 16 inches

Material: Printed on thick paper