James G. Swan

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Watercolor by Swan depicting the Klallam people of Port Townsend, with one of chief Chetzemoka's wives distributing potlatch.
Portrait of James G. Swan, 1883

James Gilchrist Swan (January 11, 1818 – May 18, 1900) was an American Indian agent in what is now Washington state, U.S.A., who is known for his work collecting artifacts and for writing the first ethnography of the Makah tribal group, among whom he lived.


  • Doig, Ivan (1980) Winter Brothers: A Season at the Edge of America. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  • McDonald, Lucile (1972) Swan among the Indians: Life of James G. Swan, 1818–1900. Portland, Oregon: Binfords and Mort.


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