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Kansas Historical Quarterly - The Pictorial Record of the Old West, 2

II.  W. J. HAYS

by Robert Taft

May 1946 (Vol. 14 No. 2), pages 147 to 165.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

[impressive fort with a massive tower]

"MOUTH OF THE YELLOWSTONE, FORT UNION, UPPER MISSOURI, JUNE 16, 1860."
ALL ILLUSTRATIONS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARE FROM
THE HAYS PORTFOLIO OF FIELD SKETCHES,1860

[sketch of fort on a short bluff and another sketch of a road leading to a low fort]

UPPER: "FORT CLARK, JULY 14, 1860."
LOWER: FORT PRIMEAU, UPPER MISSOURI, JULY 14, 1860."

WILLIAM JACOB HAYS, known chiefly as a painter of animal life, owes his reputation as an artist to material gathered on a trip up the Missouri river in the summer of 1860. His work is but little known at present, but in his prime (1855-1875) he received considerable recognition both at home and abroad.

Tuckerman devotes over a page and a half to his work and dismisses the work of George Bingham in five lines and the work of John James Audubon in a dozen lines; [1] yet the latter two are far better known at present than is Hays. A London paper in 1865 commenting on one of Hays' pictures then on display in London, said, "English artists must look to their laurels, or America will rob them of some of them in landscape and animal painting in which they have hitherto held their ground almost undisputed." [2]The Art Journal in 1875 called Hays "one of the most able painters in the country." [3] S. G. W. Benjamin in his review of American art stated that "William Hayes [sic] showed decided ability in his representations of bisons, prairie dogs, and other dogs. Weak in color, he yet succeeded in giving spirit and character to the group he painted, and holds among our animal painters a position not dissimilar to that of Mount in genre." [4] The only modern comment on Hays with which the author is familiar is his biographical sketch in the Dictionary of American Biography; [5] the inclusion of his name in this distinguished work is in itself recognition of the fact that Hays was important in his day.

In this series of articles we are not so much concerned with his reputation as an artist as we are with his Missouri river trip of 1860 and the graphic materials he gathered. There are still extant, sketch

(145)

146 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

books, letters, and contemporary newspaper accounts that are important in adding to our store of knowledge of the pictorial and written record of the old West. [6] Hays was born on August 8, 1830, and died March 13, 1875, spending most of his life in New York City. [7] He received some training under the artist John Rubens Smith and had begun exhibiting by 1852, a piece-"Head of a Bull-Dog"-winning him considerable renown. [8]

Hays has left no evidence available to the writer that would indicate a reason for selecting the Missouri river route for his westward travels. It can be pointed out, however, that even as late as 1860 the upper Missouri country was, by virtue of small steamships and the absence of railroads, the most accessible region for an examination of the flora, fauna and aborigines of the Far West. It was no unknown country, for fur traders and visitors had exploited or described this region so extensively that it was internationally famous. The region, as a fur-trading country, had passed its prime when Hays visited it in 1860. In its heyday, the 1830's and 1840's, the upper Missouri country witnessed some of the most extraordinary spec tacles of the past American scene. Here lived, at Fort Union, Kenneth McKenzie, Scotch "Emperor of the West," who "ruled over an extent of country greater than that of many a notable empire in history." [9] Scarcely less picturesque in the fur trade was James Hamilton, an English "gentleman," reticent and fastidious, with a scorn and hatred of the native Indians; and Lucien Fontenelle, furtrade partisan, leader of the mountain brigades of fur hunters and trappers. Up the Missouri before the Hays trip came an almost ceaseless flow of notables for sport, for science, for humanity, for art, or for adventure: [10] Prince Paul of Wurttemberg; Maximilian,

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 147

Prince of Wied, with his artist Karl Bodmer; a young son of Pres. William Henry Harrison; the famous Audubon, naturalist and bird artist, and still others, including "Blackrobe," Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. Of powerful physical build, of forceful personality, of singleness of purpose, De Smet traveled up and down the Missouri river, crossing and re-crossing the Rocky Mountains, establishing Indian missions, and spreading his peaceful doctrine from St. Louis to the Northwest coast from 1838 until his last trip to the Indian country in 1870. To further his work, he wrote a number of accounts of his missionary experiences in the years 1841-1863. [11]

Probably, however, the most important visitor of all to the upper Missouri country as far as spreading knowledge of this region goes, was George Catlin, author and artist. Without making any critical examination of his work as an artist or as an author, it can be said that Catlin was the great publicist for this region. As a result of a trip to the upper Missouri in 1832, there was published in 1841 his book (of varying title) [12] which in its earliest edition was called Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North American Indians. . . ."with four hundred illustrations, carefully engraved from his original paintings." Between 1841 and 1860, this book in various modifications was published in nearly 20 American, English, German, French and Belgian editions. [13]

In addition to this book, Catlin published in the same period a fascinating set of large colored lithographs, the North American Indian Portfolio, also in several editions. [14] It is no small wonder

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with this record of publication that I find Catlin's name the most frequently mentioned in biographical accounts of later artists of the West or for that matter one of the most frequently referred to authorities on the early history of the upper Missouri country. If one could make a guess, then, at Hays' incentive for his Western trip, a very good one would be that a knowledge of Catlin was an important factor in making his final decision.

Whatever the cause, the desire to broaden his field presumably led Hays to turn West, and in the spring of 1860 he arrived in St. Louis accompanied by one Terry, [15] and made plans for his trip up the Missouri river. The artists left St. Louis May 3, 1860, on the steamboat Spread Eagle which was accompanied by two small "mountain" steamboats, the Key West and the Chippewa. [16] On May 9 Hays wrote his father as follows:

On board Steamer "Spread Eagle" May 9th, 1860

Dear Father,
We are now about 350 miles on our way. The thermometer has fallen from 90 to 50. Stoves and over coats comfortable, the wind is blowing a gale and it looks like a sand storm on shore, yesterday it blew so hard that the steamers were blown ashore and remained so for nearly five hours, so that we only made thirty miles all day- when they get out of fuel and there should happen to be no wood yard near, they send men ashore to cut it, at night this is done by fire light, the effect is very picturesque. It is not likely that we will reach fort Randall in less than a fortnight. There is some chance of trouble with the Sioux as they are dissatisfied with last years pay, but as our party numbers about 600 men I think they will find it dangerous to molest it; however I hope they will try it. The troops are under the command of Major Blake of the dragoons, [17] a fine old gentleman, who with the other officers is a

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 147

graduate of West Point and has seen service in Florida, Mexico, and the Indian country. I am very well, and the time passes very pleasantly, give my love to all
Your affectionate son W. J. Hays
P. S. It is hard to write the boat shakes. we expect to reach Lexington today when I will mail this letter. [18]

Two days later the Spread Eagle reached Fort Leavenworth and Hays again wrote his father:

On Board Steamer "Spread Eagle"
May 11th, 1860
Dear Father
To day we reached Fort Leavenworth, and remained there several hours, I spent the time walking around the fort, which is no fort at, all, but simple an enclosure with barracks and parade ground. Tomorrow we expect to reach St. Joseph where I shall mail this.
Our progress has been slow as the river has never known to be so low as now. At Fort Leavenworth they have had no rain since February, and further up the river none in eighth months. The weather today is very warm. I hope you have sent me some papers to Fort Randall.
All well, give my love to all
Your affectionate Son W. J. Hays
A. B. Hays, Esq.

The frontier and river towns of St. Joseph and Sioux City were passed as was Fort Randall, a military post about 30 miles (by land) above the entrance of the Niobrara river into the Missouri (in present Charles Mix county, South Dakota). [19] Terry and Hays apparently made no stops of any length, however, until they reached Fort Union on the Missouri river, three or four miles above the mouth of the Yellowstone river. [20]

The date of arrival at Fort Union-over 1,800 miles by boat from St. Louis-is establish ed as June 15 in Hays' letter of June 20 (reproduced later). The trip from St. Louis to Fort Union was a tedious one as they traveled up the river-westward across Missouri, northward between Iowa and Nebraska territory, northwesterly through the present Dakotas to the junction with Yellowstone river, near the boundary line of present Montana and North Da

150 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

kota. The time necessary to make the upriver trip to Fort Union (from St. Louis) varied considerably. Records show that in the late 1840's the time required was from 40 to 44 days, [21] but Larpenteur in 1864 reported that he left St. Louis on March 26 and did not reach Fort Union until May 31. [22] The length of Hays' trip from St. Louis to Fort Union (May 3 to June 15) thus appears to have been of average duration. Hays wrote his father again from Fort Stewart on June 20, the letter giving some of the interesting details of his upriver trip:

Fort Stewart, Upper Missouri June 20th 1860
Dear Father
My last letter was dated Fort Pierre. [23] I was present at a grand council between the Indian agent and about six hundred of the Sioux Indians who are friendly to the whites, since then I have been present at two more councils vix Forts Clark and Berthold, I have seen the Rees, Mandans, Gros Ventres, and Assinoboines The day before we reached Fort Union we saw the first buffalo, the same afternoon we met two buffaloes swimming in the river and soon killed them. There was a perfect volley of balls poured into them. They were taken on board. The meat was very good. We have had plenty of elk, antelope and deer meat. A gentleman on board shot a big horn or mountain sheep from the deck of the steamer with a soldiers musket at the extraordinary distance of more than six hundred yards. We arrived at Fort Union on the

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 151

15th but finding that there were no buffalo near Mr. Terry and myself concluded to go on to Fort Stewart about eighty miles further up the river. Here we bid good bye to our soldier friends, and with much regret for our intercourse had been of the most agreeable kind.
The Spread Eagle will go on as far as the water will permit, and then transfer her freight and passengers to the Key West and Chippewa, and then return to St. Louis. I will send this letter by her. Mr. Terry and myself will remain at Fort Stewart until the return of the Key West and Chippewa from Fort Benton and then return with them home. The Sioux Indians who threatened to wipe us out probably concluded that discretion was the better part of valor for we saw nothing of them. The weather has been very fine and I have been very well. give my love to all
your affectionate son (signed)
W. J. Hays
A. B. Hays, Esq.

The original sketches made by Hays on this trip and examined by the author are of two types. One set was made on sheets of drawing paper varying slightly in size. The largest ones in this group measure 10" x 14". (Several sketches may appear on a single

152 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

sheet, however.) The second set was made in a small notebook measuring about 2" x 4". In many cases the larger sketches are dated. It should be remembered, of course, that these are field sketches, many of them hurriedly done. The best finished ones are the sketches of Fort Union (the only one in the author's possession; all others are the property of Hays' grandson, H. R. Hays, of New York City, as pointed out in Footnote 18) and of a fawn elk. The pencil lines in a number of the sketches are so lightly drawn that they are lost in reproduction. As a group, however, they are important because they portray a number of the trading posts of the upper Missouri, for some of which there are no other pictorial records; they are also important for the few buffalo sketches included in the group. Field sketches of buffalo when they still survived in considerable number are relatively few.

A list of 11 of the more important of 23 field sketches with the legends as written by Hays follows:

LARGE SKETCHES

1. "Mouth of the Yellowstone-Fort Union. Upper Missouri, June 16, 1860" [reproduced facing p. 144] .
2. "Interior of Fort Stewart, Upper Missouri, June 22nd, 1860" [reproduced facing p. 153.]
3. "Fawn elk. Upper Missouri, Fort Union, July 11th, 1860." Two views, excellently drawn in pencil but too light in tone to reproduce.
4. "Fort Clark, July 14, 1860" (upper view on sheet) and "Fort Primeau, Upper Missouri, July 14th, 1860" (lower view). [Both reproduced facing p. 145.]
5. "Fort Pierre-July 18th, 1860-0n the Missouri" (lower part of sheet; upper part shows faint outlines of hills). [Reproduced facing p. 152.]
6. "Old Fort Pierre. July 18, 1860-on the Missouri-" [reproduced facing p. 152] .
7. "Fort Randall, Missouri River, July 19th, 1860" [reproduced facing p. 160] .
8. "Sioux City, July 20th, 1860-(From the Missouri River)." [Reproduced facing p. 153.]
9. "St. Joseph, Missouri River, July 25, 1860."
10. Two sketches on one sheet (not dated). The upper view shows a herd of buffalo crossing a large stream, presumably the Missouri river; the lower view shows a large herd of buffalo advancing slowly toward the observer on the open prairie.
11. Lower half of sheet. Snags in a large stream (presumably the Missouri river), with the river bank, brush and trees, and hills in the background.

SMALL SKETCHBOOK (ABOUT 2" X 4")

12. Small group of buffalo crossing small stream on the prairie.
13. "Fort Kip[p] " (exterior view).
14. "Fort Union, Upper Missouri, July 11, 1860." The sketch occupies two

[sketches from different angles]

UPPER: "OLD FORT PIERRE, ON THE THE MISSOURI, JULY 18, 1860."
LOWER: "FORT PIERRE, ON THE MISSOURI, JULY 18, 1860."

[city from a distance and the fort's parade ground]

UPPER: "SIOUX CITY (FROM THE MISSOURI RIVER), JULY 20, 1860."
LOWER: "INTERIIOR OF FORT STEWART, UPOPER MISSOURI, JUNE 22, 1860."

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 153

opposite pages (therefore 2" X 8") and shows the panorama of the country from behind Fort Union looking toward the Missouri and the hills across the river. 15. "Fort Stewart, Upper Missouri, June 20, 1860" (exterior view).
16. "The man who looks everywhere-Crow War Chief." The only portrait in the group.

The first sketch in the above list was made the day after Hays' arrival at Fort Union. The original sketch is dated "June 16, 1860." It is in general agreement with other sketches and information concerning Fort Union, one of the most historic structures that ever existed on the upper Missouri (see Footnote 25). The fort itself-not a military post but one of the chain of posts belonging to the American Fur Trading Company [24] -was an important one in the company's empire, and enclosed a space 220'x240'. [25] Two blockhouses (for some reason called "bastions" in the literature of the West) occupied diagonal corners of the enclosure; one blockhouse being shown in the Hays drawing. The detail of this blockhouse, including the oddly-shaped weather vane on its top, corresponds with a view of 1864, drawn with perspective from above to show the interior arrangement, and reproduced by Coues. [26] In the Hays drawing, too, the outline of several roofs, chimneys, etc., appear in a manner corresponding to the 1864 view, which Coues ascribes to "a soldier, name unknown."

Early views of Fort Union were made by the pioneer artists of the upper Missouri, Catlin (1832) [27] and Karl Bodmer (1833). [28]

154 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

Both of these views are distant ones so that their chief use is in obtaining an impression of the surrounding country. A sketch of Fort Union drawn by Carl Wimar (probably in 1858) is one of six illustrations on one page appearing both in Wimar's biography and in the life and letters of Father De Smet. [29] I have also found a reference to a painting of Fort Union made by Isaac Sprague, an artist of Audubon's retinue who made the trip up the Missouri in 1843. [30] >The painting was made for Alexander Culbertson, for many years head at Fort Union, but whether the painting still exists is unknown.

There is also a colored lithographic illustration of Fort Union by J. M. Stanley in Stevens' Pacific railroad report of 1853. [31] The lithograph may have been redrawn from a daguerreotype, as Stevens used the daguerreotype process [32] and sketched as well. Fort Union, in the Stanley illustration, is shown as part of the background [33] and its detail is not carefully drawn, but in general it agrees-as far as can be seen-with the Hays and Coues views.

Hays' other sketch of Fort Union (listed as No. 14) is small and roughly drawn, showing the fort only in outline as it appeared from the hills behind the fort, as are the distant views of Catlin and Bodmer. There is still another Hays illustration of Fort Union. It is

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 155

a small oil painting somewhat larger than the pencil sketch (No. 1) but taken from the same viewpoint, save that it shows a small strip of the river in the immediate foreground. It is subdued in color but pleasant in appearance and finished in more detail with respect to surroundings than is the sketch. It was probably painted from the pencil sketch after Hays returned home.

The views of Fort Stewart (No. 2 and No. 15) are apparently the most hurriedly done of the group. The exterior view (No. 15) shows simply a small stockade; the interior view is reproduced in this article. The chief importance of the sketches lies in the fact that they probably are the only sketches of Fort Stewart extant; at least they are the only ones with which I am familiar. [34]

Hays' letters indicate that Fort Stewart was the western limit of their voyage, and from the information in his letters and the dates on his sketches, he and Terry stayed there from about June 19 to July 9, and in this interval of nearly three weeks many sketches were doubtless made, far more than have survived. Doubtless, too, many of these were animal sketches used for Hays' later paintings. Fort Kipp (No. 13 on our list) was made in this interval as it was a small trading post only 200 yards from Fort Stewart. [35]

The down-river trip from Fort Stewart was begun on July 9 on the Key West, but a stop for a day or so at Fort Union is indicated by the date of two of his sketches, July 11, 1860 (sketches No. 3 and 14). Other incidents of his return trip are given in a letter to his mother, written aboard the Key West on July 21, 1860.

On board steamer Key West Missouri River
July 21st, 1860
Dear Mother
I left Fort Stewart on the 9th of July and arrived at Fort Randall on the 19th where I received Sarah's letter of the first of July and two letters from Father together with newspapers they were very welcome I assure you. On my way down the river I saw thousands of buffalo they covered the bluff and prairie as far as we could see. Until this last month there had been no rain in this part of the country for about a year, but since then they say they have

156 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

never known so much, the consequence is the mosquitoes literally swarm, at Fort Stewart I lived under a mosquito bar for five days and nights, only leaving it to eat and then hurrying back as quick as possible it was a relief to get on board of the steamboat again. As we had no soldiers on board coming down the river we thought the Siouxs would take advantage of it to attack us, so we prepared for war, three cannon were kept loaded with grape for more than a week, while every man on board kept his fire-arms loaded and ready for use at a moments notice, but we passed through their country without seeing a living creature all as still as the grave. . . [36] I hope you will keep the Great Eastern in New York until I arrive or I shall be obliged to go to England to see her. I have no news to tell you. My journey is nearly over I hope to be in St. Louis on the first of August so far I have met with no accident or mishap have not lost a day by sickness in fact I never felt better in my life. I will write from St. Louis as I do not know how long I shall stay there or what route I shall take home give my love to all
Yours affectionate son (signed) W. J. Hays
Mrs. S. P. Hays
P. S. I will mail this at St. Joseph.

The sketch of the buffalo crossing the Missouri (No. 10, upper view) may be the result of the observation of "thousands of buffalo" he saw on the down-river trip. Hays seems to have realized, as he started homeward, the importance of making pictorial records of the forts along the Missouri, and for several of the forts, the sketches obtained are the only ones available as far as the author's studies go. The dates of these sketches in each instance correspond to their geographical position as the Key West steamed with comparative swiftness down the Missouri.

Thus, the sketches of Fort Clark and Fort Primeau (No. 4) are dated July 14, 1860, three days after the sketch of Fort Union (No. 14). These two forts according to Coues were only 300 yards apart. [37] Fort Clark, one of the most important trading posts of the fur trade, was located on the Missouri some 55 miles above the present Bismarck, N. D. [38] The only other sketch of Fort Clark with which the author is familiar was drawn by Carl Wimar (see Footnote 29).

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 157

"Fort Pierre" (No. 5) and "Old Fort Pierre" (No. 6) are dated July 18, 1860, as they should be, for both forts lie down the Missouri from Forts Primeau and Clark and were in the vicinity of present Pierre, S. D. The Pierre forts again were close together (three miles apart) [39] but there appears to be some confusion in the names of the two forts which should be explained.

Fort Pierre, or Fort Pierre Chouteau, named after the head of the American Fur Company in St. Louis, was established in 1832 and was "the finest and best equipped trading post on the upper Missouri with the exception of Fort Union." Like Fort Union, it was an important and historic spot. At this post many of the Indian trails, both east and south, were centered. "Here [i. e. in or near the site of Fort Pierre] Lewis and Clark had their first serious encounter with the Sioux; here were found the headquarters of various tribes, in the form of evidences of a winter camp, in 1810, when the Hunt-Astoria expedition and the Lisa party halted on their way up the Missouri; here Catlin found the center of the Sioux country in 1832; here Fremont and Nicollet ended their upriver journey in 1839; here the Raynolds expedition took its departure from the Missouri in 1859. To old Fort Pierre [as headquarters] came the Indian missionaries . . . in the process of laying foundations for civilizing the Indians in this region." [40] For a quarter of a century its history and trade made it a byword in the Missouri river country. In fact, Frederick T. Wilson states, "The words `Fort Pierre' were in themselves a phrase. They included anything and everything between the Great Bend [of the Missouri] to the Cheyenne, and between Jim river and the Black Hills. A recognition of this fact will explain many otherwise contradictory passages in the history of the plains." [41] The United States army bought Fort Pierre for a supply depot in 1855 but found it inadequate and it was abandoned in 1857. [42] Soon the demolition of Fort Pierre was underway and Capt. W. F. Raynolds, of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, noted in his diary under date of September 10, 1860: "As we passed old Fort Pierre, I noticed that but little was left of the structure, the remains consisting of the shell of one row of houses, and the demolition of this was in progress, the material being used in the new fort." [43]

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In the meantime (1857) a trading post was built three miles above "old" Fort Pierre on a bluff at the edge of the river. Like the "old" fort, it contained two "bastions" fifteen feet in height at diagonal corners of the stockade. "This small establishment soon became known as Fort Pierre, though it was a most unworthy and insignifi cant successor to the original. . . ." [44] It would appear, therefore, that Hays in his two sketches of the forts has incorrectly titled them. "Old Fort Pierre" (No. 6) as labeled by Hays is doubtless the new Fort Pierre just described, and the Hays sketch "Fort Pierre" is really the remains of "old Fort Pierre" as suggested by the Raynolds' comment. There are no other sketches of the "new" Fort Pierre extant as far as the author knows. Of "old" Fort Pierre a number of illustrations are available. Catlin painted or sketched it in 1832, [45] Bodmer in 1833, [46] Kurz in 1851, [47] Wimar in 1858, [48] and Charles E. De Land [49] possessed still another view. Although Hays could not record old Fort Pierre in its original form he saw its site and in its neighborhood saw the grand council of the Sioux on the upriver trip (see his letter of June 20, 1860).

The downward trip was now progressing swiftly. Fort Randall, 150 miles below Fort Pierre, [50] was passed the day after leaving Fort Pierre, for the Pierre sketches are dated July 18 and the Fort Randall (No. 7) sketch was made on July 19. Although the sketch has an odd perspective (doubtless it was done hurriedly as the Key West stopped momentarily) it is the only sketch of this military postthe only military post above Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri in 1860-that I have ever seen. [51]

The day after leaving Fort Randall the Key West passed Sioux

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 159

City (July 20, sketch No. 8) which was 175 miles below the fort [52] and Hays apparently made the sketch of the town from the small steamboat; in a similar manner the sketch of St. Joseph was made on July 25. [53] (Sketch No. 9.) On July 27, 1860, the Key West docked at St. Louis with her crew, her passengers, "1,800 packages of buffalo robes, furs, peltries, etc., and a young grizzly bear." [54]

One more Hays sketch of the 1860 trip deserves brief mention. The tremendous number of snags (fallen tree trunks with their huge exposed roots) in the Missouri (No. 11, undated) were always an object of wonder to travelers up the lower Missouri. Bodmer drew them. [55] Not only a source of wonder to travelers, they were a source of continual despair to the river pilots, and being snagged was the usual end of the Missouri river boats, according to Coues. Such was the fate in 1862-1863 of the Spread Eagle, which carried Hays up the Missouri. [56] How long Hays remained in St. Louis after his return we do not know, but the probabilities are that it was not long. In the fall of 1860, however, a reporter visited him in his studio in New York City and wrote: "Mr. Hays is engaged on a very spirited picture, the result of his recent trip to the Rocky Mountains, representing a herd of buffaloes scampering wildly over the prairies." [57] Outside of the fact that the reporter considered the West and the Rocky Mountains as one and identical, the brief item shows that Hays was soon at work after his return from the Western trip. The painting referred to above is probably one of Hays' best known paintings, "The Herd on the Move." Although the picture sug

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gests movement, "scampering wildly over the prairies" is overdoing the motion depicted. Hays himself described the painting in this manner:

THE HERD ON THE MOVE


By the casual observer this picture would, with hardly a second thought, be deemed an exaggeration, but those who have visited our prairies of the far West can vouch for its truthfulness, nor can canvass [sic] adequately convey the width and breadth of these innumerable hordes of bison, such as are here represented coming over a river bottom in search of water and food, their natural instincts leading them on, constantly inciting them to this wandering life, since vegetation would be quite exhausted were it not for the opportunity thus afforded for renewal. As far as the eye can reach, wild herds are discernible; and yet, farther behind these bluffs, over which they pour, the throng begins, covering sometimes the distance of an hundred miles. The bison collect in these immense herds during the Autumn and Winter, migrating South in Winter and North in Summer, and so vast is their number that travelers on the plains are sometimes a week passing through a herd. They form a solid column, led by the strongest and most courageous bulls, and nothing in the form of natural obstructions seems ever to deter their onward march, they crossing rivers and other obstacles from which a horse would shrink. The soil of the river bottoms -unlike the prairie proper, which begins at the bluffs in the distance-is very rich, and vegetable growth very luxuriant. In the foreground is represented the sweet briar, or wild rose; and in the middle distance, the light tints which look like water is the artemesia, or wild sage. [58]

"The Herd on the Move" was on exhibition in New York City during the winter of 1861-1862 and the following spring Hays was at work on a companion piece, "The Stampede," which measured six by three feet. [59] (The painting is here reproduced facing p. 161.) The original painting is now in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, but is referred to by that institution, for some unknown reason, as the "Buffalo Hunt." Hays' description of the piece follows:

THE STAMPEDE


The immense herds of Bison which roam over the prairies are sometimes seized with fright, from some real or imaginary cause, and the panic, beginning perhaps with but few, is at last communicated to the whole herd, when, with headlong fury, they dash and drive each other on, in wildest fear. The picture represents the arrival of a herd, during one of these panics, upon the brink of one of the small canons, or ravines, which everywhere intersect the prairies, and are generally invisible until their edge is nearly approached. The foremost animals, despite their fear, discover their danger and frantically struggle to retain their foothold, but the immense pressure of the terror-stricken creatures

[vast parade ground]

"FORT RANDALL, MISSOURI RIVER, JULY 19, 1860." THE INSET IS FROM A
CABINET PHOTOGRAPH OF W. J. HAYS BY BRADY, ABOUT 1870.

[surging sea of bison]

"THE STAMPEDE"

THE HAYS PAINTING DESCRIBED ON PAGES 160, 161; NOW OWNED BY
THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, NEW YORK CITY.

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 161

in the rear renders it impossible; they are forced forward, and plunge into the ravine, their bodies serving as a bridge for the rest of the herd, which continues its mad career until exhausted. A stampede is the great dread of emigrants crossing the plain, as it is almost impossible to prevent the cattle and horses from being carried off with it. The soil of the rolling prairie is chiefly sand and clay, which, baked dry by the intense heat, is raised by the wind in intolerable clouds of dust. The vegetation is principally buffalo grass, amid which flourish the most delicate wild flowers; in the foreground may be noticed the cactus opuntia, or prickly pear, which, in this region, is found in abundance. [60]

Hays himself lithographed "The Herd on the Move" in 1863, and it was published by Goupil and Company. The' lithograph measured 36" x 18" and a contemporary account stated that it "admirably reproduces the color of the original painting." "The Stampede" was reported to have been engraved for reproduction but I have no proof that this was ever done. [61]

The painting which is most frequently referred to as Hays' masterpiece is "The Bull at Bay" or "Bison at Bay" or occasionally as "The Wounded Bison." It depicts a wounded bison separated from the main herd which can be seen retreating in the middle distance, the bull being surrounded by coyotes. It was probably painted in 1864 or 1865 and was first exhibited in London. It is now owned by the American Museum of Natural History. [62]

Although regarded by Hays' contemporaries as his masterpiece, it was, nevertheless, severely criticized in its day. A critic, who modestly signed himself "Rembrandt," wrote an extended criticism of the painting in the spring of 1866 when it appeared on exhibition in Goupil's gallery in New York City. [63] "Rembrandt," who claimed that he himself had been on the plains, criticized the painting on the grounds that the habitat of the buffalo was incorrectly depicted

162 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

(especially because it showed long grass and wild flowers in the foreground), that the depiction of the animal himself was incorrect from an anatomical standpoint, and that in the real buffalo country "The monotony of the color of the grass is varied by multitudinous patches of `buffalo chips,' from two to three feet in diameter, which appear like white spots all over the ground," which Hays had failed to depict. He further went so far as to intimate that the picture was a forgery, i.e., presumably copied from a painting by another artist. The effect of this harsh criticism brought immediate response from Hays, [64] who defended himself on all points save that of the buffalo chips for, he said, "as they are by no means a pleasant adjunct to a picture, I did not introduce them." [65] "Rembrandt" offered a rejoinder to Hays' letter on the same page and cited a number of authorities to prove his point. The citations, with one exception, however, were from travelers on the Great Plains hundreds of miles south of the upper Missouri country. The exception mentioned above was Audubon, whom Hays disposes of in the letter published below. "Rembrandt" also offered to submit the difference of opinion to a committee of three whose decision would then be published.

Among the Hays correspondence available to the writer are copies of several letters to S. D. Bruce, one of the editors of Turf, Field, and Farm. [66] The day after the Hays-"Rembrandt" argument was published, Hays wrote Bruce (in part) as follows (the letter is dated April 29, 1866)

The authorities that he [the critic] quotes are all good, but do not conflict in any way with my picture. After a million buffaloes have been feeding, it is very likely that the grass would be cropped short, but it is a very large country that the buffaloes range over; and a man may cross the plains several times and never have the opportunity of seeing a buffalo, some seasons they are very plenty in some places, the next in the very same place, there will be few or none; I have been in places where the buffalo had made their first appearance late in the season, by this time the grass had attained its full height, (and it was the home of the buffalo nevertheless).
Your critic charges me with quoting incorrectly. If I understand the English language, I had a right to infer, from his words, that he meant that I had represented the long "luxuriant grass of the river bottoms." However I will take his own words "some indications of long grass and wild flowers," there is

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 163

not a single flower represented in the picture, the plants are all faithful portraits made on the spot, and among others is represented the buffalo grass that he speaks of. The wolves in my picture are the small variety known as the coyote. They are about sixteen to eighteen inches in height, and as they are creeping nothing would be seen of them but the head and upper part of the body. He says that the wolves "only show themselves after nightfall" and "do not pursue buffaloes while in flight from the hunter" if this does not mean that wolves do not pursue the buffalo in the daytime I dont [know] what does.
Your critic has by no means proved that the rolling prairie is the only home of the buffalo, and I defy him to do it.
My authority for the description of the hump, is my own personal examination of many individuals, and by careful drawings which I have made from the skeleton, it is nothing new or extraordinary. it is well known to naturalists, and anatomists, although it may not be to your critic. and your critic has misunderstood Richardson, he does not say, nor does he mean that the hump stops at the first dorsal vertebra. Your critic must be joking when he refers to Audubon's plate of the buffalo. Audubon's written description is correct. He brought back a skin. this was set up by a taxidermist in New York who found it very difficult to anything with it as he had no skeleton to place in it. Mr. Audubon made a reduced drawing from this with the camera lucida, the specimen was afterwards sent to Europe. And this is the carefully prepared plate, by which he attempts to judge my picture. Your critic has no right to assert that I have not given careful study and consideration to the picture. he knows nothing about it. The decision of a committee cannot alter the facts of the case, but if it would be any satisfaction to him I will name Mr. Wm. Hart and Mr. W. H. Beard, two of our best artists, Dr. Flint of New York and Dr. Rimmer of Boston, two of our best anatomists, and Major Genl. G. H. Warren, U. S. Engineers, who made an exploration of the country when I made my studies. [67]

Evidently this letter was sufficient to quiet "Rembrandt" for he made no attempt to take up Hays' offer of a committees [68] The letter does show that Hays was an important observer of detail, a statement that is borne out by sources of information other than

164 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

the above letter. He was a naturalist and published several papers in professional journals. [69] The first of these papers, "Tile Mule Deer," which carries a plate drawn by Hays, includes measurements of a deer which Hays states that he secured from a specimen obtained while in the upper Missouri country. In addition, I have examined a manuscript biography of Hays prepared by a member of his family shortly after his death [70] in which mention is made of carefully drawn field sketches of the various species of plants Hays observed on his upper Missouri trip and which were subsequently used as the basis of the flora depicted in his paintings.

Although "Herd on the Move," "The Stampede" and "The Bull at Bay" were regarded as the best of Hays' work subsequent to the Missouri river trip, a number of others, also based on this trip, are known to have been produced but whether they are still extant is unknown.

The list of paintings includes:

1. Western Plains.
2. Study of a Buffalo's Head.
3. Camp on the Prairie.
4. Buffalo Hunt.
5. Fire on the Prairie (1869). 6. Antelope's Head.
7. Elk's Head.
8. Rocky Mountain Goat.
9. The Upper Missouri.
10. Prairie Dog Village (1862).
11. Head of Rocky Mountain Sheep.
12. Three portfolios of field sketches [71] (one included 33 studies of bison; another a group of "Western scenes"; and the other, studies of antelope and deer).

In addition to these paintings, the New York Public Library owns a Hays painting entitled "Rocky Mountain Hares"; Washington University (of St. Louis) possesses one without known title but it depicts a herd of buffalo by moonlight; in addition, the American Museum of Natural History possesses another Hays painting called by it, "Group of Buffalo, 1860" (reproduced on the cover of this magazine).

PICTORIAL RECORD OF OLD WEST 165

Hays probably did not possess the skill with the brush that he did with the pencil, at least as far as his animals go. His sketch of the fawn elk [listed as No. 3 on p. 152] which is drawn with care and real skill is well-nigh perfect to anyone who has seen one of these creatures. His paintings of Western animals are not so well done from the standpoint of draftsmanship. The Hays paintings that I have seen also bear out Benjamin's criticism (page 145) that Hays was weak in color. His paintings do have value, however, because they are the work of a professional artist and are based on careful and personal observations. Isham, a twentieth century historian of American art, dismisses Hays in a single sentence, but in mentioning him calls attention "especially [to] some western landscapes which with their great herds of buffalo have now a historic interest." [72] In addition to his Western trip, Hays also made a trip to Nova Scotia, according to Downes, [73] to study its faunal life, and a number of trips to the Adirondacks. From these trips, there resulted a number of paintings of deer, caribou, and moose. [74] For the last several years of his life, Hays was in ill-health and lived in a very retired manner. His death occurred at the comparatively early age of 45. The fact that his pallbearers included such notable personages in the artistic profession (for their day), as W. H. Beard, S. R. Gifford, W. Whittredge, William Hart and others scarcely less notable, indicates that he was highly esteemed by his contemporaries. [75]

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I must again express my appreciation to H. R. Hays of New York City for his generous loan of sketches, letters, clippings and notes dealing with his grandfather. I am also indebted to Dr. Paul North Rice of the New York Public Library and to Miss Grace Mayer of the Museum of the City of New York for aid in securing biographical data which led eventually to my contact with H. R. Hays.

Notes

DR. ROBERT TAFT, of Lawrence, is professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas and editor of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. He is author of Photography And the American Scene (Macmillan, 1938), and Across the Years On Mount Oread (University of Kansas, 1941). For a general introduction to this pictorial series, see The Kansas Historical Quarterly, February, 1946, pp. 1-5.

1. Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists (New York, 1867), pp. 495, 496.
2. London Weekly Times, June 18, 1865.
3. The Art Journal, New York, n. s., v. 1 (1875), p. 127.
4. S. G. W. Benjamin, Art in America (New York, 1880), p. 85.
5. Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1932), v. 8, pp. 463, 464-W. H. Downes was the author of the sketch; see, also, Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1887). v. 3, p. 147. 10-2371.
6. It is a curious fact that Downes (see Footnote 5) reports that Hays visited Colorado, Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains in 1860. Downes was apparently basing this statement on the obituary of Hays in the Art Journal for 1875 (Footnote 3). Thus are errors propagatedA student looks up a previous account and without verification repeats the earlier statement; a type of error which we all are prone to make. Hays was never in Colorado, Wyoming or within several hundred miles of the Rockies, for his 1860 trip up the Missouri river was his only Western trip. Although the Missouri does eventually reach the Rockies, there is no evidence that Hays went any farther west than Fort Stewart on the Missouri (see page 155) which was still many hundreds of miles from the Rockies proper.
7. New York Tribune, March 16, 1875, p. 7, col. 6 ; Art Journal citation in Footnote 3 and Dictionary of American Biography cited in Footnote 5.
8. Tuckerman, op. cit., p. 495.
9. For much of the material in this paragraph, I am indebted to Dr. Annie Heloise Abel's "Historical Introduction" in Chardon's Journal at Fort Clark, 1834-1839 (Pierre, S. D., 1932), pp. xv-xlvi. (Dr. Abel's work, it should be remarked, is one of the most exhaustive and scholarly studies of original sources in the literature bearing on the early history of the West.) The closing quotation above is from H. M. Chittenden's The American Fur Trade of the Far West, hereinafter cited as American Fur Trade (New York. 1935), v. 1, p. 385.
10. My comment above "of the most extraordinary spectacles of the past American scene" should not be taken to mean "the most romantic spectacles," although the discussion in the text, I grant, would make such inference correct. Life in the upper Missouri country also had its extraordinary spectacles of exploitation. of unbridled rivalry, of debauchery, of viciousness, and of corruption. The white invaders of the Indian country (traders, trappers and engages), as Dr. Abel remarks in the conclusion to her "Historical Introduction," relapsed into barbarism rather than making any attempts to assist the red man to emerge from that state.
11. Some six publications Father De Smet published before 1865 are listed in the bibliography, Henry R. Wagner's The Plains and the Rockies, rev. and ext. by Charles L. Camp (San Francisco, 1937). The most extended account of "Blackrobe's" life will be found in H. M. Chittenden and A. T. Richardson, Life, Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S. J. (New York, 1905), 4 vols. Some measure of the magnitude of the extraordinary journeys of Father De Smet is given in his own words in summarizing his travels (upon his return to St. Louis) for a single year, 1842: "From the beginning of April I had traveled 5,000 miles. I had descended and ascended the dangerous Columbia river. I had seen five of my companions perish in one of those life-destroying whirlpools, so justly dreaded by those who navigate that stream. I had traversed the Willamette, crossed the Rocky Mountains, passed through the country of the Blackfeet, the desert of the Yellowstone, and descended the Missouri; and in all these journeys I had not received the slightest injury." Ibid., v. 1, p. 402. 147.
12. Catlin states that the book was based on eight years' travel among the Indians of North America (1832-1839), which is correct. However, half of the work (sometimes in two volumes; sometimes in one) was devoted to his 1832 trip in the upper Missouri country.>
13. Thomas Donaldson, "The George Catlin Indian Gallery in the U. S. National Museum"-Part V of "Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, To July, 1885," in House Miscellaneous Documents, 49 Cong., 1 Sess. (Washington, 1886), pp. 786-793. It should not be inferred that there were no other editions of Catlin published. There are many subsequent to 1860. In fact, one was published in Edinburgh (cited later in this article) as late as 1926.
14. There are at least three editions and probably more. Public exhibitions of Catlin's work at home and abroad was a third publicity factor not mentioned above. Catlin will have future consideration in this series.
15. 1 have made some effort to identify this Terry. Hays speaks of him in one of the letters published later in the text and the St. Louis correspondent of the Crayon, New York, v. 7 (July, 1860), p. 206, reports: "Hays and Terry, artists of your city, passed through here on their way to the Yellowstone River. They will have a splendid trip. as several tribes will show up for the first time. . Terry possibly may have been W. E. Terry, a wealthy amateur animal painter who lived for a time, at least, in Hartford, Conn.-H. W. French, Art and Artists in Connecticut (Boston and New York, 1879), p. 163. Recent inquiry directed to the Hartford Public Library gave me no further information than that given by French.
16. The Tri-Weekly Missouri Republican, St. Louis, reports in the column, "Port of St. Louis," in its issue of May 5, 1860, p. 1, col. 10, that the Chippewa, Key West and Spread Eagle, upper Missouri boats, left St. Louis Saturday morning, which would presumably mean that the three steamships left before May 5. The same newspaper for July 28, 1860, reports under "River News," p. 1, col. 10, the return to St. Louis of the Key West and states, She left this port [on the upriver journey] with the Spread Eagle and Chippewa on the 3rd of May"; see, also, Footnotes 23 and 54. I am indebted to William S. Wight of the University of Missouri Library, Columbia, who made the search of the Republican for me.
17. Major Blake and the soldiers mentioned in Hays' letter of June 20, without doubt, were a group of 300 U. S. recruits sent by steamboat up the Missouri river to Fort Benton (the first time troops had been thus transported), and then overland to Fort Walls-Walls in the Military Department of the Pacific.-Senate Executive Documents, 36 Cong., 2 Sess.Special Session (Washington, 1861), v. 4, No. 2, p. 3. Major "Blake" is the name given in the Executive Document No. 2. It is difficult to tell from Hays' handwriting whether the name is "Blake" or "Blade." In the account in the Missouri Republican (see Footnote 23) the typography is so poor that one is uncertain whether "Bruce," "Blice" or something else is meant. From the Executive Document, Major Blake was shown as the commanding officer of the overland force. and I have used the spelling given there.
18. The four Hays letters and the sketches discussed or reproduced in the present article were obtained from H. R. Hays of New York City, grandson of W. J. Hays. Mr. Hays kindly placed at my disposal a considerable fund of information and was most helpful in many other ways in collecting material for this article.
19. The position of Fort Randall is given in Frederick T. Wilson's "Old Fort Pierre and Its Neighbors." in South Dakota Historical Collections (Aberdeen, S. D., 1902), v. 1, pp. 291, 292, and by Elliott Cones, ed., Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri; the Personal Narrative of Charles Larpenteur (New York, 1898), v. 2, p. 355, Footnote 1 (written by Coves); see, also, Footnote 51.
20. Charles De Land's "Editorial Notes on Old Fort Pierre and Its Neighbors." in South Dakota Historical Collections, v. 1, p. 351.
21. Chittenden, American Fur Trade, v. 2, p. 956.
22. Cones. op. cit., v. 2, pp. 355, 359, 360. Larpenteur's trip was slow, however, as his boat was delayed by unusually low water and was held up for three days at Fort Sully because of Indian troubles.
23. Although Hays' Fort Pierre letter is apparently no longer extant, some extremely interesting side lights, additional information, and corroboration of the information in the Hays letters, will be found in an extensive account published in the Tri-Weekly Missouri Republican, Thursday morning, July 12, 1560, p. 1, col. 9, on the return of the Spread Eagle to St. Louis. The account reads:
"The steamer, Spread Eagle, Captain Bob. Wright, arrived yesterday morning about 7 o'clock, from the mouth of the Milk River. She was the 'flag-ship' of the fleet of mountain boats which left here on the 3d of May, in charge of Commodore Chouteau, of the American Fur Compa The fleet had a most trying time in reaching Fort Randall in consequence of the extreme low water, and an unusual large number of passengers and amount of freight. At Fort Randall the fleet met the mountain rise, and from there up had comparatively smooth sailing.
From Mr. Jacob Linder, mate, and Mr. Joseph Mayhood, carpenter, of the Spread Eagle. we gather some news in regard to the upper country, and the up-trip of the fleet. Forts Clark and Kip on the Missouri and Fort Sarpy on the Yellow Stone have been abandoned by the Fur Company. The various tribes of Indians along the entire upper river are reported to be engaged in a war of extermination. Everyday almost, war parties were seen on the bank of the river. Bleeding scalps were seen dangling from sticks at the door of the lodges of the chiefs and big men. Murmuring out complaints were the burden of the speeches at every council held. They complain of the government of the Indian Agents and of one another. The probabilities are that they will allow no peace to each other till a strong military post is established at some point in their country, as the Agents feel that until this is done their influence has but little force in controlling the turbulent spirit of the young and ambitious warriors.
"A difficulty occurred on the Key West on her upward trip, between Lieutenant G. W. Carr and Henry Dix, pilot of the boat. It appears, from the statements of the gentlemen who were present, that Lieut. Carr, or some one of his soldiers, was desirous of shooting an elk which was seen upon the bank. The boat was approaching the bluffs above Fort Pierre. and it was desired to give notice of her approach to persons on the shore, so as not to delay the boat more than. possible. To effect this, Mr. Dix blew the whistle, and at the same moment the soldier was going to shoot the elk. The elk was startled by the noise, and ran off. Lieut. Carr then took a squad of soldiers, and went up to the pilot house to attack Mr. Dix. He fired his Sharp's rifle at him but missed him, when Mr. Dix drew his revolver and commenced firing upon Lieut. Carr. He fired four shots (the fifth one missing fire) only one of which took effect upon Carr, very seriously wounding him in the shoulder. The soldiers then rushed into the pilot house, knocked Mr. Dix down, thrust at him with their bayonets, (one going through his hand) and finally tied him, and locking him in a stateroom. placed a guard over him.
During all this time the boat was under way, with no one at the wheel. When anyone tried to reach the roof of the boat. the soldiers would force them back, and when some remonstrated with Carr, and told him that there was danger of sinking the boat, his reply was, 'Let her sink, and be d--d.' Captain Wright finally, when he found he could not reach the pilot-house to manage the boat, went below and had the engines stopped until the other boats came up. Major Blake [?] promptly released Mr. Dix, and Lieut. Carr was court martialled, but their verdict was not determined upon when the Spread Eagle left on her return trip.
"Buffalo. elk, deer, bear, and big-horn were reported more plentiful along the river than they have been known before for many years. Fresh meat was therefore had in abundance on the entire trip. From the hearty looks of our friend James A. Hull, and others, we should judge a trip up the Missouri very conducive to health. They all look as hearty as if they had been training for a prize mill. No sickness is reported on any of the boats, and this, in a company of some six hundred men, is remarkable.
"Below we give memoranda of the down trip furnished us by the clerk, Mr. James A. Hull The mountain fleet arrived at the mouth of the Milk River, Friday, June 22d, fifty days out from St. Louis, and as the river had commenced falling, it was thought advisable to send the 'flag-ship,' Spread Eagle back. Accordingly we transferred the balance of our freight to the Chippewa and Key West. Com. outeau then proposed that the Spread Eagle should make a pleasure trip above the point reached by the El Paso some years since. With the officers, and most of the officers of the fleet, on board, she ran some fifteen miles above army El Paso Point, and Captain La Barge has now the honor of having taken the Spread Eagle higher up the Missouri river than was ever reached by any other side-wheel boat. On our arrival at this point two guns were fired, a basket of champagne drank by the officers and guests, and one bottle buried, which I have no doubt anyone will be welcome to who will take the trouble to go back after it. The Spread Eagle could easily have gone higher; indeed, at one time it was thought she would reach Fort Benton, but when the river commenced falling, though still only a matter of doubt, Com. Chouteau did not wish to risk so much only for glory. The river above the mouth of the Yellow Stone was some eight feet higher than it had been known for several years, and the little boats anticipated no trouble in reaching Fort Benton. They are probably now on their return, and may be looked for here in about two weeks.
"After we got through our pleasure trip we returned to where the little boats lay. Here Com. Chouteau, Captain La Barge, and our other friends left us; Captain La Barge transferring the command of the Spread Eagle to Captain Bob. 'Wright. After bidding adieu, and firing a parting salute, the Chippewa and Key West left on their upward voyage and the Spread Eagle down the river homeward bound."
[There then followed the log of the downriver trip.]
24. It is so listed by Chittenden-Richardson, op. cit., v. 2, frontispiece. Chittenden's American Fur Trade, v. 1, ch. 22, carries the history of the American Fur Company to 1843 only; see, also, Footnote 29.
25. The most extensively quoted source of information on Fort Union is the one given in 1843 by Edwin T. Denig who lived for some years at Fort Union, and which was published in Maria R. Audubon, Audubon and His Journals (London, 1898), v. 2, pp. 180-188. A briefer description of Fort Union more nearly contemporary (1863) with Hays' visit will be found in Henry A. Boller's Among the Indians (Philadelphia, 1868), pp. 370-373. "The great distributing Post for the Northwest" as Boller calls it, was planned about 1829 (Abel, op. cit., p. 201, Footnote 12); it was torn down beginning August 7, 1867 (Coues, op. cit., v. 2. p. 389, Footnote 9). "This ended," writes Cones, "what may be regarded as on the whole the most historic structure that had ever existed on the upper Missouri, excepting of course Fort Mandan of Lewis and Clark." Still another description of the fort in 1853 is given by Isaac Stevens (see Footnote 31).
26. Cones, op. cit., v. 1, opposite p. 68. In the "Journal of Rudolph Friederich Kurz," in the Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, (Washington, 1937), Plate 13, there will be found a Kurz sketch dated 1852 credited with some doubt as "Fort Union?". The sketch shows a portion of the main headquarters building. Comparison with the sketch in Cones leaves little doubt that the Kurz sketch was that of Fort Union. The main difference in detail between the two sketches is a tall flagpole in front of the building in the Kurz sketch which is not seen in the one published by Cones. The difference in dates (1852 and 1864) might readily account for the change.
27. Catlin's painting of Fort Union (painted June, 1832) is reproduced lithographically in Catlin's North American Indians (Edinburgh, 1926), v. 1, opposite p. 14, Plate No. 3. Coues, op. cit., v. 1, p. 69, criticizes the illustration because Catlin showed the fort with more than two "bastions." Presumably the original painting from which the illustration is reproduced, is now in the United States National Museum. I have a photograph of this painting and the fort is so far distant as to be scarcely discernible, the painting being a panoroma of a vast stretch of country. The painting is catalogued as No. 388 in "The George Catlin Indian Gallery."-Donaldson, op. cit., p. 274. This exhaustive treatise on Catlin is Part V of the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution.
28. The view by Karl Bodmer in R. G. Thwaites' Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, v. 25 (atlas), Plate 61, bears the subtitle "Assiniboins Breaking Up Their Camp." Bodmer accompanied Maximilian, prince of Wied, on his travels up the Missouri river, and the artist's sketches of the journey were first published in an atlas with Maximilian's Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834 (Coblentz, 1839-1841). Thwaites' four volumes concerning Maximilian's Missouri river journey are based on the original English edition published by Ackermann and Co. (London, 1843). I have a tinted folio plate the same in form as Plate 61 mentioned above. My plate bears the legend "Fort Union on the Missouri" in English, French and German. The publisher's legend on this separate sheet is "London, published by Ackermann and Company, 90, Strand, 1st March, 1841" with the artist's legend Karl Bodmer, pinx. ad nit." I mention these two plates of Fort Union for the reason that in the Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, 1930), opposite page 394, there is an illustration "Fort Union As It Appeared in 1833"; a plate on the lower part of the illustration reads "Fort Union, 1833, Ackermann & Co., London (Publ)." This illustration is the same as the above two, save for a difference of a few figures in the right foreground and middle distance. Evidently this last illustration is either another version of the Bodmer illustration or possibly it was made by a copier of Bodmer's work.
29. W. R. Hodges, Carl Wimar (Galveston, 1908), opposite p. 32. Wimar apparently made several excursions up the Missouri but Hodges quotes at considerable length a letter of Wimar's written in 1858 describing his experiences on the upper Missouri and the forts he visited. The six forts sketched by Wimar appear on a single page, the legend for the page being forts of "P[ierrel Chouteau, Jr., Fur Company." The Six forts included were Fort Berthold, Fort Union, Fort Clark, Fort Pierre Chouteau, Fort Benton, and Fort Kipp. The same plate is reproduced as the frontispiece in v. 2 of Chittenden-Richardson, op. cit.
30. Maria R. Audubon, op. cit., v. 2, pp. 77, 78, 82, 84, 86.
31. Isaac 1. Stevens, Reports of Explorations and Surveys, . . For a Railroad From the Mississippi River To the Pacific Ocean, v. 12, Book 1 (Washington, 1860), Plate 16. opposite p. 85. The original illustration was drawn (or photographed) on August 7, 1853.
32. Robert Taft. Photography and the American Scene (New York, 1938), pp. 261, 262.
33. The foreground shows the annual government distribution of goods to the Assiniboins which took place on the visit of Stevens and 'Stanley to Fort Union.
34. Fort Stewart was established as a fur-trading post in 1854 and was destroyed by fire in 1860. (All the more reason that the above crude sketches are important.) It was about 57 channel-miles above Fort Union on the Missouri, although the land distance was about 35 miles. Its site was in present` Dawson county, Montana. Larpenteur (whose journals Cones edited) was in charge of Fo Stewart during the winter of 1859-1860, but probably had left by the time Hays and Terry reached there.-Cones, op. cit., v. 2, pp. 306-308, and map opposite p. 316.
35. Ibid., p. 316. Cones says that Larpenteur arrived in the neighborhood of Fort Stewart and Fort Kipp on November 9, 1860, and found that both "forts" had been burned by Indians. Traveling west up the Missouri in Hays' day had its adventures, as both this incident and the Hays letters show. Hays' sketch of Fort Kipp is again a crude one. A few buildings, part of a stockade, and four Indian tepees in the foreground are shown. Wimar (Footnote 29) also sketched Fort Kipp in 1858 and his sketch shows it to be a somewhat larger establishment than is indicated by Hays.
36. Two sentences are here omitted as they deal with a death in the family which occurred while Hays was in the upper Missouri country.
37. Cones, op. cit., v. 1, p. 227. According to Cones, Fort Primeau was built at this location in the fifties or later." Charles E. De Land, loc. cit., v. 1, p. 378, states that a detailed description of Fort Primeau "is not at hand; but it was built and occupied by Chas. Primeau early in the sixties and probably before 1862." From the uncertainty of Cones and De Land, the Hays sketch serves to give some idea of its appearance and shows that it was in existence on July 14, 1860. The Hays sketch of Fort Primeau is the only one in existence as far as I know.
38. Chittenden, American Fur Trade, v. 2, p. 932. For the early history of Fort Clark, see, Abel, op. cit. Curiously enough, Dr. Abel has no illustration of Fort Clark in her book, probably because the only one available to her was the very small sketch by Carl Wimar (see Footnote 29) which would be unsuitable for reproduction; the Hays sketch was unknown to her, of course.
39. Wilson, loc. cit., v. 1, p. 296.
40. The quotation is from editorial notes on "Old Fort Pierre" by Charles E. De Land in South Dakota Historical Collections, v. 1, p. 344, as is the information prior to the quotation in the text.
41. Wilson, loc. cit., v. 1, p. 295.
42. Ibid., pp. 278, 279, 290.
43. Senate Executive Documents, 40 Cong., 2 Sess. (Washington, 1868), No. 77, p. 121. The quotation is from Captain Raynolds' journal of the 1859-1860 Yellowstone expedition.
44. Wilson, loc. cit., p. 296.
45. Catlin, op. cit., v. 1, Plate 57. opposite p. 234. Catlin's original painting of Fort Pierre in the United States National Museum is No. 384.-Donaldson, loc. cit., p. 274.
46. Bodmer's sketch is published as Plate 43 of the atlas which comprises 25f v. of Thwaites' Early Western Travels, and is the fourth part of Thwaites' series subtitled, "Maximilian, Prince of Wied's, Travels in the Interior of North America, 1832-1834." Thwaites' reprint of Maximilian's travels is from the original English edition translated from Maximilian's work.
47. Kurz, loc. cit., Plate 42.
48. Hodges, op. cit., pp, 17-19, and Chittenden-Richardson, op. cit., v. 2, frontispiece.
49. De Land's picture of "old" Fort Pierre was one prepared under the direction of one of the Chouteaus of St. Louis from recollections of employees of the American Fur Company, from steamboat pilots and others. It was, therefore, not drawn by a "pinx. ad nat." De Land refers to it in one place as a pen drawing (p. 344) and on another page as a painting (between pp. 256, 257) where it is reproduced in half-tone.-De Land, loc. cit.
50. Ibid., p. 366.
51. Fort Randall was laid out in 1856 by Gen. w. S. Harney and was named for Daniel Randall, one-time deputy paymaster general of the United States army. It was abandoned on July 22, 1884.-South Dakota Historical Collections, v. 1, pp. 288, 292, 365, 428; Coues, op. cit., v. 2,_p. 355. (See Footnote 19 for the location of Fort Randall.) Coues, wintered there in 1872-1873. At the time of Hays' visit Fort Randall was garrisoned by over 300 troops of the Fourth artillery under Capt. J. P. McCown. Fort Randall was the only military establishment above Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri in the Military Department of the West.-Senate Executive Documents, 36 Cong., 2 Sess. (Washington, 1861), v. 2, p. 216.
52. Coues, op. cit., v. 1, p. 22, Footnote 10. Sioux City was platted in 1854.-Encyclopedia Britannica, v. 20 (1945), p. 717.
53. St. Joseph, or St. Joe, was one of the earlier upriver Missouri towns, being platted in 1843. Dictionary of American History (New York, 1940), v. 5, p. 10. An engraving, probably based on a daguerreotype of St. Joseph in the early 1850's, much better finished than the hurriedly-drawn sketch by Hays, will be found in Charles A. Dana, ed., The United States Illustrated (Herrmann J. Meyer, New York, n. d.), West, v. 1, opposite p. 140. Although this work is not dated, it was reviewed in Putnam's Monthly Magazine, v. 3 (June, 1854), p. 675. This two-volume work, judging from the review, was first published serially.
54. Tri-Weekly Missouri Republican, St. Louis, Saturday morning, July 28, 1860, p. 1, col. 10 (River News). The note also records the fact that the Chippewa and the Key West made the run directly to Fort Benton, the head of navigation on the Missouri (some 300 or 400 miles above Fort Union) and were the first steamboats that ever landed at the fort (Benton). The three boats, Key West, Spread Eagle (Hays' upriver ship) and Chippewa, left St. Louis May 3 as already noted. The Key West and the Chippewa reached Fort Benton on July 2. The two ships left Fort Benton on July 5 and the Key West reached St. Louis July 27 as mentioned above. The Chippewa reached St. Louis a few days after the Key West. H. M. Chittenden, History of Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri River (New York, 1903), v. 1, p. 219, mentions that the Chippewa and Key West, in 1860, were the first steamboats to complete the journey to Fort Benton but he gave no further details.
55. R. G. Thwaites, op. cit., v. 25 (atlas), Plate 39.
56. Coues, op. cit., v. 2, p. 324. Coues, also reports the fate of the Spread Eagle mentioned above in the text.
57. New York Daily Tribune, October 6, 1860. p. 4, col. 4.
58. The description is from an exhibition catalog published in the early 1860's. It was furnished me by H. R. Hays. Tuckerman, op. cit., p. 495, copied the same description in 1867.
59. New York Times, June 14. 1862, under "Fine Arts." The Times account refers to the painting as "Stampede of the Bisons."
60. The source of this description is the same as that indicated for the description of "The Herd on the Move." Tuckerman also reprints it.
61. The New York Evening Post, September 25, 1863, in its column, "Fine Arts," reports the lithograph, "Herd on the Move." H. R. Hays writes me that he has seen a number of the lithographs but I have never had that good fortune. Goupil and Company was a branch of the celebrated Parisian firm of lithographers founded by Adolphe Goupil.-The Art Journal, London, v. 45 (1893), pp. 31,. 32; see, also, Harry T. Peters' America on Stone (New York, 1931), p. 197. Peters does not include Hays in his list of artists and does not reproduce "Herd on the Move."
62. The American Art Journal, v. 6 (1866), p. 149, reports: "Hays has at his studio the large picture of a Bison at Bay which, although painted some few years since, has never been exhibited in this country, having been sent to England almost as soon as finished. The picture may be set down as an unqualified success." The London Weekly Times, June 18, 1865. cited in Footnote 2, refers to the exhibition of this picture in London. A crude woodcut reproduction of the painting appears in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 22, 1866, p. 216. The National Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1897), v. 4, p. 156, dates the picture 1865.
63. Turf, Field, and Farm, New York, v. 2 (March 31, 1866), p. 202. The criticism occupies nearly a column of a three-column page. This curious periodical although devoted chiefly to turf news, had in its issues nearly a page devoted to art, all signed "By Rembrandt," and another page on theater news and criticism. I am indebted to the library of the Ohio State University, Columbus, for the privilege of examining volumes 2 and 3 of Turf, Field, and Farm.>
64. Ibid., v. 2 (April 28, 1866), p. 266.
65. Hays, from the standpoint of the historian, made an error here. The author has often wondered (as I suppose have many other readers of Western literature) about the appearance of the famed buffalo chip, the fuel of travelers on the Great Plains.
66. For S. D. Bruce, see National Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1896), v. 6, pp. 321, 322.
67. Hart and Beard were well-known contemporaries of Hays (see Tuckerman, op. cit., pp. 498-501, 547, 549). Warren was an extensive explorer of the upper Missouri and mapped this country. He was in that country in 1859, if not 1860. See Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1936), v. 19, p. 473, and the Wagner-Camp bibliography, The Plains and The Rockies. Dr. Flint was probably Dr. Austin Flint, professor of physiology at Long Island College Hospital, 1865-1868.-Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1931), v. 6, p. 472. Dr. Rimmer was probably Dr. William Rimmer, a physician turned artist and lecturer on art anatomy at Harvard, the Lowell Institute and other schools.-See Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1888), v. 5, p. 256. Richardson was the author of Fauna Boreali Americana according to "Rembrandt."
68. Letter of Hays to S. D. Bruce, May 10, 1866-, which specifically states that "the critic ['Rembrandt'] has backed out of his agreement." Another indirect reference to the matter is made in Turf, Field, and Farm, May 26, 1866, p. 330, where an inquirer writes to "Rembrandt" inquiring if the omission "of the vulgar and unsightly white splotches in the 'Buffalo picture' " wasn't permissible from the standpoint of art. To which "Rembrandt" made a classic reply: the characteristic 'white-splotched' appearance of a great American Buffalo prairie is suggestive of 'truths' too important to the wearied traveler or ambitious hunter, to justify an artist in rejecting them on account of their vulgarity when painting a great historical picture of the 'Home of the Buffalo'; for not only are their presence suggestive of the near consummation of the hopes and pursuits of the hunter, but the contemplative mind is filled with grateful feelings to the Divine Giver of All Good for providing 'unsightly white blotches,' the only kind of fuel in the wilderness' for cooking his hard-earned food, and ministering to the comfort of the half-frozen traveler while wending his wearied way for hundreds of miles across it.
"Rembrandt" was riding hard the one admission that Hays had made to his criticism.
69. The papers were "The Mule Deer," in American Naturalist, Salem, Mass., v. 3 (June, 1869), pp. 180, 181, one plate; "Notes on the Range of Some of the Animals in America at the Time of the Arrival of the White Men," in ibid., v. 5 (September, 1871), pp. 387-392; "Description of a species of Cervus [Deer] ," in Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History (New York, 1872), v. 10, pp. 218, 219, one plate.
70. In the possession of H. R. Hays.
71. These titles were compiled from a published auction list of Hays' paintings sold after his death. The list is dated by the sales date, December 17, 1875, the sale taking place at the Kurtz gallery. The dates of two of the above paintings are taken from the biographical sketch of Hays appearing in The National Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1897), v. 4, p. 186. This account states correctly the nature of Hays' Western trip in 1860.
72. Samuel Isham, The History of American Painting (New York, 1927), p. 349.
73. Dictionary of American Biography, v. 8, p. 464.
74. A number of these paintings are included in the auction list cited in Footnote 71.
75. New York Tribune, March 15, 1875, p. 7, col. 6; March 16, p. 7, col. 2.