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Thank God, it is over, that I have seen it and am able to tell it to the world.
– George Catlin
The Crows are very handsome and gentlemanly Indians in their personal appearance: and have been always reputed, since the first acquaintance made with them, very civil and friendly.
I have seen him set fire to his wigwam and smooth over the graves of his fathers… clap his hand in silence over his mouth, and take the last look over his fair hunting ground, and turn his face in sadness to the setting sun.
An Indian’s dress of deer skins, which is wet a hundred times upon his back, dries soft; and his lodge also, which stands in the rains, and even through the severity of winter, is taken down as soft and as clean as when it was first put up.
The several tribes of Indians inhabiting the regions of the Upper Missouri, and of whom I spoke in my last Letter, are undoubtedly the finest looking, best equipped, and most beautifully costumed of any on the Continent.
The very use of the word savage, as it is applied in its general sense, I am inclined to believe is an abuse of the word, and the people to whom it is applied.
A Crow is known wherever he is met by his beautiful white dress, and his tall and elegant figure; the greater part of the men being six feet high.
The Missouri is, perhaps, different in appearance and character from all other rivers in the world; there is a terror in its manner which is sensibly felt, the moment we enter its muddy waters from the Mississippi.
I have, for many years past, contemplated the noble races of red men who are now spread over these trackless forests and boundless prairies, melting away at the approach of civilization.