In the late 19th century, Americas most famous poet was undoubtedly Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Of all his poems, arguably the most popular was his epic tale of an Ojibwa hero, The Song of Hiawatha. Originally published in 1855, the book was an immediate and sustained best-seller and in 1888 Houghton Mifflin decided to publish a new edition with illustrations. Not yet 30, the young Remington received what was to be his first important commission - 22 paintings and nearly 400 text drawings to accompany the text. The illustrated editions publication in 1891 made his name a household word. This grisaille painting accompanied Longfellow's description of the death of Hiawatha's sweetheart, Minnehaha, by starvation.