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George Catlin
View on the St. Peter's River, Sioux Indians Pursuing a Stag in Their Canoes
1836–37
oil
19 1/2 x 27 5/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.



Catlin was perhaps the first white man to travel to the Red Pipe-Stone Quarry in southwestern Minnesota. There he encountered a band of Sioux Indians, whom he described as “most vigorous and warlike…tall and straight, their movements elastic and graceful.” During his stay, Catlin sketched many scenes of Sioux customs, ceremonies, and everyday activities. Numbering forty or fifty thousand, the Sioux nation was one of the largest, occupying much of the land north of the Missouri River and west of the Mississippi all the way to the base of the Rocky Mountains.