HENRY INMAN was well known both as an officer in the United States army and an author dealing with subjects of the Western plains. He was born in the City of New York on July 3, 1837, of Dutch and Huguenot ancestry. In 1857 he was commissioned second lieutenant in the United States army and was sent to the Pacific coast. On October 22, 1861, he married Eunice C. Dyer of Portland, Maine, where her father, Joseph W. Dyer, was a well known ship builder. During the Civil war Lieutenant Inman served as an aide on the staff of General George Sykes, and on February 11, 1869, was brevetted lieutenant colonel. After the war he won distinction as a magazine writer, his "Old Santa Fe Trail," "Great Salt Lake Trail," "The Ranch on the Ox-hide" and other similar books dealing with the subjects he knew so well having a sure and attractive touch. Colonel Inman left a number of unfinished manuscripts at his death in Topeka, November 13, 1899.
A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
Born in Utica, New York, he became the leading portrait painter of his time and was a noted chronicler of the history of the West without having been there. He became the first vice-president of the National Academy of Design, and most of his short life was spent in New York City.
For seven years, he was apprenticed to portraitist John Wesley Jarvis, and they worked in tandem with Jarvis painting the likeness and Inman finishing the canvas. On a visit to New Orleans in 1820 and 1821, they made $6000. from completing six portraits.
In 1831, Inman moved briefly from New York to Philadelphia where he met Thomas L McKenney, a newspaper editor who was compiling a history of North American Indian tribes. He hired Inman to make careful copies of Indian portraits, most of them originally by Charles Bird King. By late 1833, Inman had completed more than 75 copies, remarkably
true to King's originals.