John Eliot Preaching to the Indians

Felix Octavius Carr Darley American

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Darley was one of the most prolific American illustrators of his day. He created illustrations for the works of such authors as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in addition to depictions of historical events and frontier life, including images of American Indians. In this drawing, Darley’s subject is the Puritan preacher John Eliot (ca. 1604–1690), a missionary who attempted to convert Massachusetts Indians to Christianity and translated the Bible into the local Indian languages. Here the brightly illuminated Eliot makes a gesture of blessing to his audience like John the Baptist in traditional Christian iconography.

John Eliot Preaching to the Indians, Felix Octavius Carr Darley (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1822–1888 Claymont, Delaware), Ink washes, graphite, gum arabic, and sgraffito on smooth-surfaced off-white wove paper, American

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