The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 56
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Southwester-n Historical Quarterly
the :ounties mentioned ill the second letter as well as that aicng
the Brazos which the colonists accepted, and it is thought that for
some reason the company officials followed rather the trend sug-
gested in the first letter than that shown in the second after the
visit of the inspectors. The colonists landed not at New Orleans
but at Galveston, and supplies were purchased by their agent there
insteead of in Cincinnati.
How did people in conservative England looking for "comfort-
able homes, a country free from church and state, heavy taxation
and aristocratic rule," think of Texas, especially people of culture
and "we may say delicate habits"? Mr. George Catlin, that
idealist and artist who sketched the Indian amid all the vivid
color of his natural environment, had been traveling in Texas
among the Indians before he went to Europe in 1840, and his
direct connection with the colonists, although somewhat lacking
in detail, is nevertheless established.
Catlin was himself a native of Wyoming but in his young man-
hood he went to New England to study law, and finally went to
Philadelphia to study art. While he was there a party of fifteen
Indians came east, bonneted and plumed.
Catlin writes of his own resolution at that time, "Black and blue
cloth and civilization are destined, not only to veil but to oblit-
erate the grace and beauty of nature. Man, in the simplicity and
loftiness of his nature unrestrained and unfettered by the disguise
of art, is surely the most beautiful object for the painter, and the
country from which he hails is unquestionably the best study or
school of the arts in the world; such as I am sure, from such
models as I have seen, is the wilderness of North America. And
the history and customs of such people, preserved by pictorial
illustrations are themes worthy the life-time of one man, and
nothing short of the loss of my life, shall prevent me from visit-
ing their country and becoming their historian."
Accordingly in 1832 Catlin went west, and until 1840 lived
with the wild tribes, visiting in his wanderings the Comanches,
the Wacoes, and Tehuacanas, all Texas tribes. He wrote an im-
mense book about the Indians, describing them and their cus-
toms and illustrating with pen sketches of his own. In 1840 he
went to England on a European tour, and subsequently, we are
told. introduced three parties of American Indians in European
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/64/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.