James Hervey Simpson
JOURNAL OF A MILITARY RECONNAISSANCE FROM SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, TO THE NAVAJO COUNTRY, MADE WITH THE TROOPS UNDER COMMAND OF BREVET LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN M. WASHINGTON, CHIEF OF NINTH MILITARY DEPARTMENT, AND GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO, IN 1849. Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo and Co., 1852.

Gift of Phila Rogers & Linda Coski in memory of their father Howard Willoughby
You-Pel-Lay, or the Green Corn Dance of the Jemez Indians, R. H. Kern
You-Pel-Lay, or the Green Corn Dance of the Jémez Indians
R. H. Kern
[xF786 S4 pl. 6]

Artist Richard Kern and his brother E.M. Kern joined this 1849 expedition commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Simpson. This report includes numerous images and a number of the earliest published views of the Pueblo Indians.

Simpson described the green-corn dance, You-pel-lay, in the language of the Jémez Indians, based upon a report from E.M. Kern.

The detailed description of the ceremony noted that the male Indians, " . . . were dressed in a kirt of blanket, the upper portion of their bodies being naked, and painted dark red. Their legs and arms, which were also bare, were variously striped with red, white, and blue colors; and around their arms, above the elbow, they wore a green band, decked with the sprig on pinon. A necklace of the same description was worn around the neck, Their heads were decorated with feathers. . ."

On April 11, 1850, in submitting his report to Colonel J. J. Albert, Corps of Topical Engineers, James Simpson wrote of the Kern brothers, "For these truthful delineations, and the topographical sketches, I am indebted to my two assistants, Messrs. R. H. Kern and E.M. Kern, brothers — the former having furnished, with few exceptions, all the sketches of scenery, &c., and the latter the topography and other artistical work displayed upon the map."

Simpson proceeds to laud their skill and perseverance, noting the trying circumstances for their labors, including "the unfit character, in many instances, of the paper on which the sketches have been drawn, and which it required, even such as it is, the ransacking of almost every store in the place to sufficiently supply."

The report also contains a series of chromolithographs, hand-colored lithographs, and black and white lithographs credited to Peter S. Duval's Steam Lithograph Press of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This volume is among the first government-sponsored expedition reports of the American West to include high quality, color illustrations.

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