Picture of author.

George Catlin (1796–1872)

Autor(a) de North American Indians

70+ Works 1,104 Membros 15 Reviews

About the Author

Inclui os nomes: Geo Catline, George Catlin

Image credit: William Fisk, 1849


Obras de George Catlin

North American Indians (1995) — Autor — 457 cópias
Life Among the Indians (1800) 46 cópias
Il popolo dei pellerossa (1965) 14 cópias
The Way to Happiness (2004) 4 cópias
The St. Gothard Railway 1 exemplar(es)
Los indios de Norteamâerica (1994) 1 exemplar(es)
What does the West want? (1957) 1 exemplar(es)
Medicinmän och krigare 1 exemplar(es)
After Lewis and Clark 1 exemplar(es)
Die Indianer Nordamerikas. (1990) 1 exemplar(es)
Capturing the Wild Horse 1 exemplar(es)
Buffalo Chase 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contribuinte — 416 cópias
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology (2004) — Contribuinte — 298 cópias
Indian Signals and Sign Language (1991) — Artist, algumas edições118 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Local de falecimento
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA



Illustrations on the Manners, Customs and Condition of the North American Indians: Volume 1 by George Catlin

-Print: : COPYRIGHT: March 1, 2022; ‎ ISBN: 978-3348072816; PUBLISHER: Hansebooks; LENGTH: 620 PAGES (Info from Amazon.com)

*-Digital: COPYRIGHT: 1876; PUBLISHER: Project Gutenberg (LONDON:
PRINTED BY J. OGDEN AND CO., 172, ST. JOHN STREET, E.C.); Release date: August 16, 2022 [eBook #68768] Most recently updated: August 23, 2023; Original publication: United Kingdom: Chatto & Windus, Picadilly, 1876; Credits: Richard Hulse, Robert Tonsing and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)

-Audio: N/A

-Feature Film or tv: N/A

SERIES: Volume 1

-SELECTED: A discussion with a friend on Native Americans set me looking for more details on their history, so I was quite pleased to find these diaries by George Catlin describing a number of nations, tribes, or bands as he perceived them in the 1830’s.
-ABOUT: The author is a painter. He greatly admired the North American Natives, and the land along the Missouri. He initially interacted with those who visited fur traders, often initially meeting with the natives at fur trading outposts.
He describes their attire, their affects and their initial fears toward him. His ability to produce their likenesses on paper initially made them fear evil magic was involved and that tragedy would be visited upon those who’d been painted. As the men that ran the fur trade forts, and those Natives that enjoyed his talent due to vanity eventually gained influence over the fearful, Catlin came to be considered a medicine (mystery) man of sorts.
He also visited various villages along the Missouri River, and described the distinguishing characteristics of various nations. He mentions more than once being impressed by the Mandan nation for a number of reasons, including their hospitality, and their inexplicable resemblance in appearance (eye, hair, and skin coloring) to Caucasians.
-OVERALL: Well illustrated and told.
Catlin gives an objective account of his visits among various tribes, illustrated with his paintings. With gratitude for having been admitted into the confidences of the many nations he visited, Catlin provides reasons for his admiration as well as reasons for his horror as he explains customs and ceremonies he was privileged to observe.
Given the times, I found I had to forgive even Catlin’s utilitarian attitude toward animals. I found, from his narratives, that while the Natives revere animals, and their natural inclination was to be conservative in their approach to killing them, in terms of using everything that could be used from one dead animal (meat, skin, teeth, bones, etc) the presence of fur traders had its ill influence, so as to create in many instances a distance between the ideal of revering all animals, and the practice of indulging in the glory, vanity, or the procurement of the goods that could be traded that their death translated to. Catlin describes a buffalo hunt in which he participates. Natives gained, not only gratitude from their tribes for the sustenance, clothes, tent materials, etc. that buffaloes provided, but honor for the strength and courage shown in doing battle with these tremendously large and fierce animals.
Despite the Natives religious convictions regarding the sacred spirits of various animals; presumably, even before traders came on the scene, animals were killed for purposes other than survival. For example: porcupine quills; dog meat; eagle, crow or other bird feathers; skins/furs of both common and rare animals; tails; etc. were utilized, when available, for purposes of fashion and ceremony. It would seem, that at least occasionally, it was the very reverence for an animal’s spirit, that made elements of that animal’s remains, covet-able.

George Catlin (From Wikipedia)
“George Catlin (July 26, 1796 – December 23, 1872)[1] was an American lawyer, painter, author, and traveler, who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the American frontier.
Traveling to the American West five times during the 1830s, Catlin wrote about and painted portraits that depicted the life of the Plains Indians. His early work included engravings, drawn from nature, of sites along the route of the Erie Canal in New York State. Several of his renderings were published in one of the first printed books to use lithography, Cadwallader D. Colden's Memoir, Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council of the City of New York, and Presented to the Mayor of the City, at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals, published in 1825, with early images of the City of Buffalo.[2][3]”


Nonfiction; U. S. History

U. S. History; Land Exploration; Fur Trade; North American Natives; Cultures; Ceremonies; Painting; Superstition; Buffalo; White man’s influence on Native Americans; Weapons; Fashion; Villages; Bigamy; Sun Dance

1800’s; 19th Century


EXCERPT (From Letter 1)
“As the following pages have been hastily compiled, at the urgent request of a number of my friends, from a series of Letters and Notes written by myself during several years’ residence and travel amongst a number of the wildest and most remote tribes of the North American Indians, I have thought it best to make this page the beginning of my book; dispensing with Preface, and even with Dedication, other than that which I hereby make of it, with all my heart, to those who will take the pains to read it.

If it be necessary to render any apology for beginning thus unceremoniously my readers will understand that I had no space in these, my first volumes, to throw away; nor much time at my disposal, which I could, in justice, use for introducing myself and my works to the world.

Having commenced thus abruptly then, I will venture to take upon myself the sin of calling this one of the series of Letters of which I have spoken; although I am writing it several years later, and placing it at the beginning of my book; by which means I will be enabled briefly to introduce myself to my readers (who, as yet, know little or nothing of me), and also the subjects of the following epistles, with such explanations of the customs described in them, as will serve for a key or glossary to the same, and prepare the reader’s mind for the information they contain.

Amidst the multiplicity of books which are, in this enlightened age, flooding the world, I feel it my duty, as early as possible, to beg pardon for making a book at all; and in the next (if my readers should become so much interested in my narrations, as to censure me for the brevity of the work) to take some considerable credit for not having trespassed too long upon their time and patience.

Leaving my readers, therefore, to find out what is in the book, without promising them anything, I proceed to say—of myself, that I was born in Wyöming, in North America, some thirty or forty years since, of parents2 who entered that beautiful and famed valley soon after the close of the revolutionary war, and the disastrous event of the “Indian massacre.”

The early part of my life was whiled away, apparently, somewhat in vain, with books reluctantly held in one hand, and a rifle or fishing-pole firmly and affectionately grasped in the other.

At the urgent request of my father, who was a practising lawyer, I was prevailed upon to abandon these favourite themes, and also my occasional dabblings with the brush, which had secured already a corner in my affections; and I commenced reading the law for a profession, under the direction of Reeve and Gould, of Connecticut. I attended the lectures of these learned judges for two years—was admitted to the bar—and practised the law, as a sort of Nimrodical lawyer, in my native land, for the term of two or three years; when I very deliberately sold my law library and all (save my rifle and fishing-tackle), and converting their proceeds into brushes and paint pots; I commenced the art of painting in Philadelphia, without teacher or adviser.

I there closely applied my hand to the labours of the art for several years; during which time my mind was continually reaching for some branch or enterprise of the art, on which to devote a whole life-time of enthusiasm; when a delegation of some ten or fifteen noble and dignified-looking Indians, from the wilds of the “Far West,” suddenly arrived in the city, arrayed and equipped in all their classic beauty,—with shield and helmet,—with tunic and manteau,—tinted and tasselled off, exactly for the painter’s palette!

In silent and stoic dignity, these lords of the forest strutted about the city for a few days, wrapped in their pictured robes, with their brows plumed with the quills of the war-eagle, attracting the gaze and admiration of all who beheld them. After this, they took their leave for Washington City, and I was left to reflect and regret, which I did long and deeply, until I came to the following deductions and conclusions.

Black and blue cloth and civilization are destined, not only to veil, but to obliterate the grace and beauty of Nature. Man, in the simplicity and loftiness of his nature, unrestrained and unfettered by the disguises of art, is surely the most beautiful model for the painter,—and the country from which he hails is unquestionably the best study or school of the arts in the world: such I am sure, from the models I have seen, is the wilderness of North America. And the history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustrations, are themes worthy the life-time of one man, and nothing short of the loss of my life, shall prevent me from visiting their country, and of becoming their historian.

There was something inexpressibly delightful in the above resolve, which was to bring me amidst such living models for my brush: and at the same time to place in my hands again, for my living and protection, the objects of my heart above-named; which had long been laid by to rust and decay3 in the city, without the remotest prospect of again contributing to my amusement.”

5 stars

1/9/2024 to 3/9/2024
… (mais)
TraSea | May 5, 2024 |
Folio Society Edition is beautiful.
markm2315 | outras 3 resenhas | Jul 1, 2023 |
laplantelibrary | Jan 14, 2023 |
KRVhistory | Feb 14, 2022 |



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