1796 - George Catlin, artist, born

    George Catlin, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, studied law before turning his love of the outdoors into his life's work.  He sold his law library and went to Philadelphia to teach himself the art and craft of painting. (click here for more)

     His career as a miniaturist took another unexpected turn when his obsession with Indians rescued him from a life as a salon portrait painter.   Catlin's studies of life in the West  - as the vanguard of society was reaching distant Indian civilizations - would leave future generations a picture of life among the tribes on the north and south American continent before the European settled Indian lands and turned the wilderness into town and cities, ranches and farms.