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Thomas Easterly: The Destruction of Big Mound (1853-1854) 
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"The Big Mound" was the largest of a group of 27 Indian platform mounds built by the Mississippian culture (900-1300 A.D.). When the French first occupied the region it was called "La Grange de Terre" (Earthern Barn) and it was a man-made structure around 30 feet high and 150 feet long. As the city of St. Louis expanded it was decided to level "The Big Mound" and use it as a source of back fill and clay for brick-making.
Local Daguerreotypist Thomas Easterly[1] had photographed Big Mound. Fifth and Mound Streets, St. Louis in 1852-1854 and when the destruction of the mound was carried out in 1869 he took a series of daguerreotypes, an already archaic process, to document the event.[2] 

  1. Λ Delores A. Kilgo, 1994, Likeness and Landscape: Thomas M. Easterly and the Art of the Daguerreotype, (University of New Mexico Press) 
  2. Λ The daguerreotypes are in the Thomas Easterly Collection of the Missouri Historical Society. 
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