After Fenner Sears & Co.
British, active c. 1829–1833
After Thomas Cole
American, b. England, 1801–1848
Head Waters of the Juniata, c. 1834
Etching and engraving on steel, second state of three, 9 x 10 15/16 inches
From volume 2 of John Howard Hinton, The History and Topography of the United States
Published in 1846 by Samuel Walker, Boston
Partial gift and purchase from John C. O’Connor and Ralph M. Yeager
In 1829, while in England at the start of a three-year tour of Europe, Thomas Cole was commissioned by historian John Howard Hinton to provide a set of paintings and drawings to serve as illustrations for a book on the United States. Cole’s images, including Head Waters of the Juniata, were engraved by the firm Fenner Sears & Co. for the first British edition, published in 1830–32. For the first American edition, issued in 1834, Boston publisher Samuel Walker engaged Denison Kimberly to re-engrave the Cole illustrations. The present example was taken from the second Walker edition, published in 1846.
The imagery derives from a sketch Cole made from memory around 1827 of a scene he encountered during a journey from his family’s home in Steubenville, Ohio, to Philadelphia in 1823. The route, along what was at that time known as the Pennsylvania Road, followed the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. The precise location for the sketch is unknown; however, all the headwater tributaries of the Raystown Branch can be found roughly ten to fifteen miles west of the town of Bedford.