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JT Headley picture

Thanks for dropping in yesterday. I had a good time looking over the blast furnace pictures.

But then, after you departed my cabin, I found Headley’s book and what he wrote. I looked at a list of plates in the front of Headley’s book.

Headley list of plates

Possibly we should look at the author as well as the artists that Headley used in “Adirondack.”

Who are these men that Headley depended on for his wood and steel engravings? He listed no one as responsible for the title page; “Distant View of the Adirondacks.”

However before we look to see who Ingham, Gignoux, Hill and Durande are, let us look at J.T. Headley himself.

J.T. Headley was, in the long form, Joel Tyler Headley. No wonder his book “Adirondack” was written so well. Joel was a historian, a newspaper editor, and a clergyman. At one time he even served as Secretary of State of New York. Headley was no accidental author who found himself in the middle of the North Woods.

The list of his books and letters seems to never end, as follows;

  • The Great Riots of New York: 1712-1873
  • The great rebellion; a history of the civil war in the United States
  • Washington and his generals
  • Napoleon and His Marshalls
  • The Forgotten Heroes of Liberty
  • The illustrated life of Washington … With vivid pen-paintings of battles
  • The achievements of Stanley and other African explorers: Comprising all
  • H.M. Stanley’s wonderful adventures in Africa: From his first entrance
  • Napoleon and His Marshals Vol. I
  • Grant and Sherman; Their Campaigns and Generals
  • The Sacred Mountains
  • The great rebellion : a history of the civil war in the United States
  • Washington and His Generals: Vol. II
  • The Great Rebellion; A History of the Civil War in the United States
  • Stanley’s wonderful adventures in Africa.
  • Stanley and Livingstone in Africa (Classic Romances of Literature Vol X)
  • The life of Ulysses S. Grant
  • Sacred heroes and martyrs; Biographical sketches of illustrious men of
  • Washington and his generals – volume 1
  • Letters from the backwoods and the Adirondack
  • The Adirondack
  • The Adirondack, or, Life in the Woods
  • The life of Winfield Scott
  • Napoleon and his Marshals Vol. II
  • The life and travels of General Grant
  • The Travels of General Grant

I would like to tell you that I met Joel Tyler Headley; but I can’t.

I would like to tell you that I met and advised his artists; but I can’t.

These are great men. Men who do great things. Men who belong to great organizations.

These are not the bumpkins that live or visit the Adirondacks.

However, Headley did not start out in the midst of great men who seem to congregate in New York or Boston.

Headley in Walton

“Descriptive Power” – – – that sums up Headley’s ability in two simple words. From my point of view it is an understatement. He captured the Adirondacks – – – EXACTLY.

So leaving his list of accomplishments and the inspirations of his childhood, let us look at his artists.

Asher Brown Durand



Asher Brown Durand embarked on a sketching expedition to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. His success was lauded. After that he concentrated on landscape painting in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. His multitude of drawings and oil sketches helped to define the Hudson River School of art.

schroon lake

Shrooon Lake

Asher’s sketches of trees, rocks, and foliage appear as dressing on hundreds of Adirondack sketches, postcards and photographs.

Durand wrote, “Let the artist scrupulously accept whatever nature presents him until he shall, in a degree, have become intimate with her infinity…never let him profane her sacredness by a willful departure from truth.”


Charles Cromwell Ingham


Ingham was a portrait painter. He founded the New York National Academy of Design during the 19th century.

Ingham was middle-named after a descendant who was an officer in Cromwell’s army. He was born in Ireland and studied art at The Dublin Institution before immigrating to the United States. In New York City he not only distinguished himself with his oil painting but also in watercolor on ivory.

adidrondack pass

Adirondack Pass


lake colden

Lake Colden


lake sanford



Ingham was famous along with his brother. They were portrait painters known for paintings of young women of New York’s upper class.

Regis Gignoux

Régis François Gignoux


Gignoux was a French painter who was active in the United States from 1840 to 1870. He was born in Lyon, France. Hippolyte Delaroche, a historic painter, inspired Gignoux to turn his talents toward landscape painting. Gignoux arrived in the United States from France and opened a studio in Brooklyn, New York. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, and was the first president of the Brooklyn Art Academy. Gignoux became one the first artists to join the Tenth Street Studio where other members included Albert Bierstadt.

lake henderson

Lake Henderson


Gignoux is best known for his meticulous renderings of Northeast American landscapes and was the only member of the Hudson River School to specialize in snow scenes.

Thomas Hill

Thomas Hill


Thomas Hill was born in England on September 11, 1829. At the age of 15 he immigrated to the United States with his family. They settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Hawkins and had nine children.

Raquette Lake

Raquette Lake


At the age of 24, Hill attended evening classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. While a student Hill traveled to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and sketched alongside members of the Hudson River School.

That is all I can glean from this book and my other books, advertisements and such. I keep them under my bed in an old tin tea cabinet; one of the lodges threw it away. I had kept them in a wooden box but the mice would get in them and make nests from all my treasures.

Oh yes. I almost forgot the last few etchings from the book that Headley contributed to no one in his list of plates.

Forked Lake

Forked Lake


The Adirondack

The Adirondack Mountains


That was a lot of fun. We will have to look at more old artists and their work some day.

In the meantime I will try to think up something derogatory to say about the fellows that brought all these tourists in here. You know who I am talking about; those Durants – – – Thomas and his son William West Durant.

You be careful going home. Old Joe told me he saw a cougar at his place yesterday. The Smiths said they saw it at their place the day before. So it must be hanging around these parts.

Unless it went towards  Owl’s Head.

Probably has an eye on Joe’s lambs.

Tahawas and Tomosky c