SIA1999: 400. View on Upper Missouri; Buffalo Herds Crossing the River

Artist:George Catlin
Copyright:Digital Reproduction © 2006
Date Added:2006/09/16

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View on Upper Missouri; buffalo herds crossing the river. Bátiste, Bogard, and I passing them in our bark canoe, with some danger to our lives. A buffalo scene in their funning season. Painted in 1832.

In one instance, near the mouth of White River, we met the most immense herd crossing the Missouri River, and from an imprudence got our boat into imminent danger amonst them, from which we were highly delighted to make our escape. It was in the midst of the "running season," and we had heard the "roaring" (as it is called) of the herd when we were several miles from them. When we came in sight, we were actually terrified at the immense numbers that were streaming down the green hills on one side of the river and galloping up and over the bluffs on the other. The river was filled, and in parts blackened, with their heads and horns, as they were swimming about, following up their objects, and making desperate battle whilst they were swimming.

I deemed it imprudent for our canoe to be dodging amonst them, and ran it ashore for a few hours, where we laid waiting for the opportunity of seeing the river clear; but we waited in vain. Their numbers, however, got somewhat diminished at last, and we pushed off, and successfully made our way amongst them...

by George Catlin, 1796-1872, American.

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