Group of Three Scenes Along the Suwanee River, Drawn by United States
DALE, John B. Group of Three Scenes Along the Suwanee River, Drawn by United States Navy Lieutenant John B. Dale]. [Southern Georgia or northern Florida. nd, ca. 1842-1843]. Three ink and wash drawings, as described below. Fine. A charming group of ink and wash drawings by the talented artist and United States Navy Lieutenant, John B. Dale. Only one of the drawings is titled, but they all show scenes along a river, presumably the Suwanee in southern Georgia or northern Florida, and two of them show sporting scenes. Lieutenant John B. Dale was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1814 and appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy in 1829. He was one of three artists assigned to the United States Exploring Expedition, the pioneering scientific exploration commanded by Charles Wilkes that lasted from 1838 to 1842. During that voyage Dale butted heads with the famously irascible Wilkes several times, and was sent home half-way through the expedition. Nonetheless, many of Dale's drawings appear in the official published account of the expedition. He was married in 1840 and had two sons. From 1844 to 1846 Dale was a member of the crew of of the U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides") during its circumnavigation of the globe. Dale died in Lebanon in 1848, while on duty in the Mediterranean as part of the Lynch Expedition. Dale's manuscript journal of his cruise aboard the Constitution is in the collection of the New England Historical Genealogical Society. The three drawings in this collection are undated but were likely made by Dale while he was on leave from his position working on the U.S. Coastal Survey, to which he was assigned in 1840. They are as follow: 1) "Crossing the Suwanee." Ink on a 8_ x 10_ sheet of thick paper stock. Shows a man holding a shotgun (possibly Dale himself), standing in a small boat as the boat is pulled across the river by another man utilizing a rope tied on both banks. As in the other two drawings, Dale gives a fine sense of the flora of the region, ably sketching the different varieties of overgrown trees. Signed by Dale in the lower right. 2) Untitled scene of a man hunting ducks. Ink and wash on a 7 x 9? inch sheet, bordered by a blue and white "Greek key" motif. In this illustration a man stands in a small boat, shown in the lower right, and fires a shotgu.