Laughlin has always been an artist with a strong desire to learn from the careers of other American artists and illustrators. His Buffalo Soldier works was inspired by the great illustrator, Frederic Remington.
Remington appealed to Laughlin for his impressive drawing ability and sure business sense. Laughlin studied many of Remington’s works created during his hire with Century Magazine and the Buffalo Soldier period. A brief history of Remington’s experience and adventures during that time follows:
Remington had a fall art class at Yale with Poultney Bigelow, who later became an editor for Century Magazine. Bigelow’s brother, a first lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry in Arizona, had written to Bigelow that a campaign to capture Geronimo and a band of 38 Chiricahua Apache Indians was in the planning.
Remington was contracted by the magazine to travel to Arizona by Southern Pacific Railroad and to be the artist reporter on the campaign. Remington traveled through New Mexico and then on to Fort Grant in Willcox, Arizona. There he met Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke who later became a close friend and confidant.
Remington was assigned to a troop of Buffalo Soldiers and Lt. James Watson, a 10th Cavalry rough rider for an eleven day scout patrol to the San Carlos Apache Reservation. During that eleven day trip, a happy and sunburned young man wrote to his wife that he had lost over 10 pounds.
Remington went on to Tucson, Hermosillo, Mexico and back to the U.S. to Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. His story plus his black and white illustrations of his travels and the soldiers’ lives, were published in Century Magazine in April of 1889. To print his images in the magazine, a guild of carvers and sculptors was hired to hand carve hundreds of wood blocks necessary for the printing press reproduction.
Remington’s images of black Americans serving their country changed many east coast attitudes to a
greater admiration for their service.
Buffalo Soldiers In Pen & Ink – Circa 1983
Historical Recreations Postcard Series
Parade Grounds – 18 x 24 Pen & Ink, Copyright 1988
The 10th Regiment of the U.S. Army Calvalry practiced on the parade grounds
at Fort Grant, Arizona Territory, to prepare for military patrols.
Chasing Apaches in San Simone River Valley – 18 x 24
Pen & Ink, Copyright 1988
Troop M detail chasing Apaches who escaped from the
San Carlos Indian Reservation.
Scout at Mowry Mine – 18 x 24 Pen & Ink, Copyright 1988
2nd Lt. Powhatan H. Clarke and K Troop return to Mowry Mine Camp
from a patrol near the Sonoran Border.