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Exhibit item: John and Annie Bidwell Portrait

Exhibit item:
John and Annie Bidwell Portrait

The Bidwells, founders of the North Sacramento Valley town of Chico, pose for a photograph with their striped camping tent in the midst of prime grizzly habitat.

California, 1841-1848: manuscript: 1877

"...In a small deep valley near the road from Ross to Bodega we could always see a number of grizzly bears. One day I thought I would try to shoot one of them.

The valley was a deep gloomy place. The wind blew hard and I had to be careful not to let the bears get the wind of me. Two were eating clover, one a very large one. In the middle of the valley was a small stream lined with willows. I climbed one of these and tried to shoot the large one, but the wind swayed the willow so much that it was difficult to get a shot at the bear.

When I did shoot him it only wounded him and he ran under the tree where I was and stopped. I remained up in the willow as long as possible but at last had to come down. The bear had gone but I hurried across and out of the valley as soon as possible."

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