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Exhibit item: JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, REV. JOHN BACHMAN, The Quadrupeds of North America, 1851-54

Exhibit item:
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, REV. JOHN BACHMAN
The Quadrupeds of North America, 1851-54

John Audubon, most widely known for his illustrations of birds, published a lithograph of two grizzly bears, accompanied by a description of his encounters with them while in California.

Quotation:
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, REV. JOHN BACHMAN
The Quadrupeds of North America, 1851-54

" ...High up on the waters of the San Joaquin, in California, many of these animals have been killed by the miners now overrunning all the country west of the Sierra Nevada. Greatly as the Grizzly Bear is dreaded, it is hunted with all the more enthusiasm by these fearless pioneers in the romantic hills, valleys, and wild mountains of the land of gold, as its flesh is highly prized by men who have been living for months on salt pork or dry and tasteless deer-meat. I have seen two dollars a pound paid for the leaf-fat around the kidneys. If there is time, and the animal is not in a starving condition, the Grizzly Bear always runs at the sight of man, but... it is rare to find a man who would willingly come into immediate contact with one of these powerful and vindictive brutes. Some were killed near 'Green Springs,' on the Stanislaus, in the winter of 1849-50, that were nearly eight hundred pounds weight. I saw many cubs at San Francisco, Sacramento city, and Stockton, and even those not larger than an ordinary sized dog, showed evidence of their future fierceness, as it required great patience to render them gentle enough to be handled with impunity as pets. The different colours of the pelage of this animal, but for the uniformity of its extraordinary claws, would puzzle any one not acquainted with its form, for it varies from jet black in the young of the first and second winter to the hoary gray of age, or of summer."

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