Fort Pierre, Mouth of the Teton River, 1200 Miles above Saint Louis

  • George Catlin, Fort Pierre, Mouth of the Teton River, 1200 Miles above Saint Louis, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.384

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“This Fort is undoubtedly one of the most important and productive of the American Fur Company's posts, being in the centre of the great Sioux country, drawing from all quarters an immense and almost incredible number of buffalo robes, which are carried to the New York and other Eastern markets, and sold at a great profit . . . The country about this Fort is almost entirely prairie, producing along the banks of the river and streams only, slight skirtings of timber. No site could have been selected more pleasing or more advantageous than this; the Fort is in the centre of one of the Missouri's most beautiful plains, and hemmed in by a series of gracefully undulating, grass-covered hills, on all sides; rising like a series of terraces, to the summit level of the prairies, some three or four hundred feet in elevation, which then stretches off in an apparently boundless ocean of gracefully swelling waves and fields of green. On my way up the river I made a painting of this lovely spot, taken from the summit of the bluffs, a mile or two distant, shewing an encampment of Sioux, of six hundred tents or skin lodges, around the Fort, where they had concentrated to make their spring trade; exchanging their furs and peltries for articles and luxuries of civilized manufactures.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 26, 1841; reprint 1973)

Fort Pierre, Mouth of the Teton River, 1200 Miles above Saint Louis
Not on view
11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (28.6 x 36.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture Exterior – military – Fort Pierre
  • Western
  • Architecture Exterior – military – fort
Object Number
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