Published on January 26, 2013 by Amy
Eagle of Delight, also called Hayne Hudjihini in Chiwere (b. c. 1795 – d. 1822), was one of the five wives of Chief Shaumonekusse of the Otoe tribe in the first quarter of the 19th century. They were based in present-day Nebraska.
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In 1822, she accompanied her husband with an Indian delegation of chiefs to Washington D.C., where they met James Monroe, the President of the United States. She was described by those who met her as beautiful and charming. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) commissioned Charles Bird King to paint portraits of Hudjihini and Shaumonekusse.
Shortly after her visit, Hudjihini died of measles, probably contracted during her travels. It was one of the endemic Eurasian infectious diseases to which Native Americans had no natural immunity.
Although the original portrait of Eagle of Delight was destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution in 1865, a patron donated King’s personal copy to the White House in 1962. The portrait now hangs in the White House Library.