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Not the right Red River

Waud Red River MN better

I found a couple of 1872 sketches of the “Red River” by Alfred Rudolph Waud. Waud was an English illustrator who worked in the last half of the 19th century for several US publications. His sketches became illustrations for magazines like Harpers Weekly.

I discovered the sketch, “On the Red River” in the Historic New Orleans Collection at the Louisiana Digital Library (see above). I thought I had found a treasure trove of art that depicted life on the Red River, which I was hoping to share with my website‘s readers.

Alas, a search through uncovered an 1878 book that shows that Waud’s sketch became an illustration of the Red River in the Dakotas, NOT the southwestern Red River. Dang it! Pretty neat detective work on my part, though. :).

(An aside: Waud was the only eye witness to sketch Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg in 1863).

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Feb 04

Greetings! Are you sure Waud's sketch is/was done on the Red River of the North in the Dakota's? I've attempted to find evidence of Waud's travels in the Dakota's without success. I am wondering if Waud was ever in the Dakotas. Do you know whether he was or not?



Robin Cole-Jett
Robin Cole-Jett
Mar 07
Replying to

No, once I placed the sketch in the Dakotas, I didn't do anymore sleuthing, but I remember finding information about exhibit that featured his artwork. The exhibit was up north.

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