The two engravings are both attributed to N. Orr of "N. Orr &
Richardson, S.C., N.Y.," and yet they bear interesting differences in the
representation of the subject. Not only is the likeness visibly different in
each, but so are subtledties in the bearing, stance, and attitude of
"Gopher John." What accounts for the differences? Surely more than the
degeneration of the engraver's block was involved. Given that Orr completed both
engravings, one could suppose that he would only have made substantive
alterations to the later engraving (at right) with directions either from the
author, Giddings, from new source material, such as a sketch alleged to be from
life, or on the authority of someone who claimed to know John Horse's likeness,
such as a military officer from the Florida war. The last two possibilities are
especially likely given Orr's track record by 1858, having engraved a number of
Seminole subjects for both the Sprague and Giddings histories.
Images: At left, Orr's 1848 engraving of John Horse for Lt. John Sprague's The
Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida war. At right, Orr's engraving
Giddings' 1858 history, The Exiles of Florida.