George Catlin

"White men - whiskey - tomahawks - scalping knives - guns, powder and ball - small-pox - debauchery - extermination."

(1796 - 1872)

As a young man, the Philadelphia born artist, George Catlin, studied to be a lawyer but soon tired of the dull and dreary books and decided instead to become an artist.  Like many young men of his day, Catlin dreamed of seeing the wilderness of the West with his own eyes. (Click here for more on Catlin)  His opportunity came in 1830 when he accompanied William Clark on an expedition up the Missouri River.  This would be the first of five expeditions into the West, and his career would span the years when he would have the opportunity to see the last years of the Indian societies as they existed before the arrival of the Europeans changed their world forever.