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View of the Canadian River, Dragoons Crossing

1834-1835 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (49.5 x 69.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.351 Not currently on view

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“The landscape scenes of these wild and beautiful regions, are, of themselves, a rich reward for the traveller who can place them in his portfolio: and being myself the only one accompanying the dragoons for scientific purposes, there will be an additional pleasure to be derived from those pursuits. The regiment of eight hundred men, with whom I am to travel, will be an effective force, and a perfect protection against any attacks that will ever be made by Indians. It is composed principally of young men of respectable families, who would act, on all occasions, from feelings of pride and honour, in addition to those of the common soldier.” George Catlin made this sketch in 1834 on an expedition into Indian Territory with United States troops. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 37, 1841; reprint 1973)


Figure group - male

History - United States - westward expansion

Landscape - river - Canadian River

Occupation - military - soldier



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added