Americas and Oceania Collections blog

Exploring the Library’s collections from the Americas and Oceania

26 June 2013

From the Collections: Native Americans visit London

Totems (Queen Anne visitors)
Above: Totems drawn by three of the visitors to the court of Queen Anne [Add MS 61647]

Public Domain Mark
These works are free of known copyright restrictions.

Team Americas were happy to host scholars from Oxford University, UCL and Yale this morning, part of a tour looking at the history of Native Americans visiting London. Carole and I put together a small selection of items loosely related to the theme and it seemed a shame not to share some of them with our readers.

Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row (Sloane vol)
Above: a depiction of Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, one of the 'Four Indian Kings' [Add MS 5253]

The bulk of the display revolved around the 'Four Indian Kings' who came to England in 1710, during the reign of Queen Anne. The above illustration is from a volume formerly belonging to Sir Hans Sloane while the totem signatures on the top are on documents relating to the business of the Privy Council.

French territories map
Above: 'A New Map of the Parts of North America Claimed by France' [Maps 69917.(29)]

While researching the display a few other items of marginal relevance caught my eye and it seemed a shame not to include them. The above is a map from the 1720s detailing the French colonies of North America, what is particularly interesting though is the demarcation of Iroquois territory on the map and the notes about the importance of this group to the protection of British colonial interests.

I suspect this is a display that will come out again, so there are possibly more blogs to follow. In the meantime, if you would like any more information just get in touch.



Are you only interested in 18th century visits? I believe in the 17th century there were a number of them, although the Americans were not always willing participants. Before the Plymouth colony arrived, Tisquantum/Squanto had been kidnapped by a European trader, Captain Thomas Hunt, who tried to sell him into slavery in Spain. Tisquantum escaped with help and made his way to London, where he stayed for a while and apparently learned English before returning home.

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