Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John Francis McDermott  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1902, St. Louis County, Missouri

Died: 1981, St. Louis County, Missouri

-- John Francis McDermott on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

The author taught at SIU Edwardsville

Biographical and Professional Information

John Francis McDermott was a noted author and professor of American History at Southern Illinois University--Edwardsville (SIU-E). During his tenure there, he taught thousands of students at the new university campus during its "start-up" phase in the late 1950's and 1960's. He was instrumental in documenting many regional historical studies, among them the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Founding of St. Louis in 1764 (he himself was a descendant of Auguste Chouteau, founder of the City of St. Louis).

Published Works

  • Seth Eastman's Mississippi: A Lost Portfolio Recoverd , University of Illinois Press, 1973
  • George Caleb Bingham: River Portraitist, University of Oklahoma Press, 1959
  • Tixiers Travels on the Osage Prairie, Pratt Press, 1962
  • The Western Journals of Dr. George Hunter: 1796-1805, American Philosophical Society, 1963
  • The Frontier Re-examined, University of Illinois Press, 1969
  • Frenchmen and French Ways in the Mississippi Valley, University of Illinois Press, 1969
  • Before Mark Twain, SIU Press, 1998
  • Journey Through Part of the United States of North America in the years 1844-1846, SIU Press, 1972

Selected Titles At Your Library

Seth Eastman's Mississippi ;
ISBN: 0252001923. OCLC Number:

. .

The Mississippi River landscape so appealed to Captain Seth Eastman (stationed at Fort Snelling) that between 1846 and 1848 he painted dozens of excellent miniature landscapes of the river from the Falls of St. Anthony in Minnesota to a point below St. Louis near the mouth of the Ohio. Seventy-nine of the detailed scenes are reproduced here, enabling us to see the river as Eastman saw it in its wilderness state over 125 years ago, when white men's towns were just beginning to appear on the shores. Only recently discovered in a private collection, the delicate watercolors establish Eastman as an important landscape painter and the best watercolorist of the Upper Mississippi. Trained as a topographical artist at the U.S. Military Academy, Eastman approached painting realistically. Well known for his exact portrayals of Chippewas, Winnebagoes, and Sioux at their daily activities, Eastman displays in his landscapes the same precise realization of the river scene. The newly found paintings form the most extensive and carefully observed visual documentation of the Upper Mississippi ever undertaken. Of their quality, McDermott writes: "So small that they might have been painted with the aid of a jeweler's glass, so sharply distinct that the artist might have been viewing scenes through a telescope, so sensitive in the use of atmosphere, so delicate in their tints, these pictures are a glowing triumph" for Eastman. McDermott, who also wrote The Lost Panoramas of the Mississippi and Seth Eastman, Pictorial Historian of the Indian, traces the history of these watercolors in an absorbing essay and compiles an annotated catalog of them.

Frenchmen and French ways in the Mississippi Valley /
ISBN: 0252784111. OCLC Number:

University of Illinois Press,. Urbana [Ill.] :. 1969.

Papers presented at the Conference at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, on Feb. 14-15, 1967, and in St. Louis on the evening of Feb. 15th, 1967.

Before Mark Twain :
ISBN: 0809321912. OCLC Number:

Southern Illinois University Press,. Carbondale, Ill. :. 1998.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)