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Exhibit item: THEODORE HENRY HITTELL, The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter, of California, 1860. Illustrations by Charles Nahl

Exhibit item:
THEODORE HENRY HITTELL
The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter, of California, 1860
Illustrations by Charles Nahl

Legendary hunter and trapper Grizzly Adams collaborated with Theodore Hittell to publish a first-person narrative of his life and adventures in California and the West.

Quotation:
THEODORE HENRY HITTELL
The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter, of California, 1860
Illustrations by Charles Nahl

"...This bear was so violent as to gnaw entirely through some of the floor timbers of the trap. It was almost a pity to kill the noble old fellow, but there was no help for it; and, accordingly, inserting the muzzle of my rifle through a crack, put a half-ounce ball through his heart. Upon the reception of the fatal missile, he uttered a tremendous roar of pain and rage, and tore about with such fury that I feared he would break out. I indeed drew my rifle and pistol to meet him, should the structure give way; but in a few minutes he began to weaken, his rage softened, his head declined, he sank down, and gradually his life passed away. He was one of the largest of his class in this region, weighing nearly a thousand pounds; so large that, upon hoisting the trap doors, we were unable to budge him, and were compelled to hitch the mules to drag him out. His hams and shoulders were so brawny and fat, that when... we came to hang them up in trees out of the reach of wolves and coyotes, it was necessary to divide them again, thus making eight pieces; and a beautiful sight it was to see the meat hanging among the green leaves, like choice cuts in a market stall at Christmas. With the head of the bear we made a repast as splendid as it was strange. A hole large enough to receive the mass was dug in the ground, and a large brush fire built over it. When the fire had burnt to coals and ashes, the head was rolled in a cloth, placed in the hot hole, more brush piled on, and a fire kept up for several hours, when the head was entirely cooked; and delicious eating it made."

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