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Exhibit item: EDWARD VISCHER, Vischer's Pictorial of California, 1870

Exhibit item:
EDWARD VISCHER
Vischer's Pictorial of California, 1870

Adams' performing bears received widespread attention in advertisements, newspaper stories, and even a U.S. War Department Report.

Quotation:
JOHN S. NEWBERRY
"Report on Zoology" in Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad..., 1857

"At San Francisco a large number of 'grizzlies' are kept in confinement in different parts of the city, and while I was there I frequently amused myself by watching them and studying their habits. Two of these were quite large, and said to weigh, respectively, 800 and 1000 pounds; and they... went to make up a kind of menagerie, where I frequently spent an hour. These grizzlies were under perfect control, and were knocked about entirely without ceremony by the showman, yet unresistingly, and he would even go so far as to ride upon their backs. He used to give interest to each day's entertainment by getting up a wrestling match between the bears, when they would tumble one another about with considerable spirit, yet usually very goodnaturedly. The reward which more than any other stimulated them to effort was tobacco, of which they seemed very fond. If undisturbed, however, they were very lethargic, lying the whole day through, each rolled up into a huge ball of fur, nearly as high as the animal when standing."

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