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Abby Williams Hill: Artist and Advocate

This digital teaching collection focuses on the life and work of Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943), a landscape painter who lived in Tacoma, Washington.

Abby Williams Hill: Artist and Advocate

Photo of Hill with her children in a tent.

 

 

Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) was a landscape painter who worked primarily in the American West. She was also a prolific writer who produced a vast amount of letters and journals addressing issues of continuing social and historical interest including education, tourism, and the rights of women, African Americans, Native Americans, and the working class.

To read the complete essay, visit the Overview Essay tab of this guide.

How to Use this Digital Teaching Collection

There are many components of this Digital Teaching Collection for you to explore!

  1. The Gallery: Browse the gallery of images below to get a glimpse of our archival objects. Click on the image to be taken to a digital database where you'll find a larger version of the object, more details about it, and be able to download a copy to use for research.
  2. Overview Essay: Want to understand how these archival items work together? Read our overview essay to better understand the greater context of the objects and the histories that surround them. 
  3. List of Sources: Visit the list of primary sources to read descriptive text that our librarians have written. These descriptions will help you better understand the object and will jumpstart your research. Click on the image to be taken to a digital database where you'll find a larger version of the object, more details about it, and be able to download a copy to use for research.
  4. Teaching Guide: These collections have been designed with students and educators in mind. Visit our Teaching Guide to find discussion questions, activity ideas, and complete lesson plans for K-12 and undergraduate audiences. 
  5. Additional Resources: The search for primary sources does not stop with one institution! We've listed other digital collections and repositories that have archival sources relevant to this topic as well as tips for continuing your research.

The Gallery

In this rotating gallery, you'll get a glimpse of some the items from this digital teaching collection. Click on the image to be taken to a digital database where you'll find a larger version of the object, more details about it, and be able to download a copy to use for research. To see the entire set of sources, visit the List of Sources

Front cover of pamphlet picturing a mountain goat.

Brochure, Scenic Washington Along the Great Northern Railway, 1904

This brochure was printed by the Great Northern Railway in 1904 and features images painted by Abby Williams Hill during her commission for the railway in 1903. The brochure shows one way in which Hill’s paintings were used by the railway in promoting their rail line and encouraging tourists to travel and explore the West.

Landscape oil painting of Mount Rainier.

Painting, Mount Rainier from Eunice Lake, 1904

Abby Williams Hill painted this during her first commission for the Northern Pacific Railway in 1904.

Cursive handwritten letter from Northern Pacific.

Letter, Northern Pacific Railway to Abby Williams Hill, September 12, 1904

This letter is from A. Tinling, General Agent for the Northern Pacific Railway in Tacoma, to Abby Williams Hill, dated September 12, 1904. The letter was to be presented by Hill to station agents along the Northern Pacific route.

Photo of Hill, her children, and White Bull.

Photograph, Abby Williams Hill and children with White Bull, 1905

This photograph of Abby Williams Hill and her children with White Bull (Ta-Tan-Ka-Ska) was taken in 1905 on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. White Bull, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, was visiting the reservation at the same time as the Hill family and befriended Hill and her children.

Seal of National Endowment for the HumanitiersThis digital teaching collection has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this digital collection do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.