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Exhibit item: HENRY CHAPMAN FORD, [California Farm], 1887, etching on tissue mounted on board

Exhibit item:
[California Farm], 1887
Etching on tissue mounted on board

Memoirs of My Life, 1887

"We were travelling one morning down the Salinas valley, three or four of us some distance ahead of the party. The river was spread over several hundred yards in little streams and water-holes and threads of water, and densely covered over the whole space of the bed with matted thickets of tall willow.

Where we were riding on the prairie bottom, between the willows and the river hills, some clumps of shrubbery hid for the moment an open ground on which were several of the long-acorn oaks.

Suddenly we saw among the upper boughs a number of young grizzly bears, busily occupied in breaking off the smaller branches which carried the acorns, and throwing them to the ground.

Seeing us as soon as we discovered them, they started to climb down but were apparently checked and driven back, running backward and forward in great alarm. Dismounting quickly and running into the open we found the ground about the trees occupied by full-grown bears, which had not seen us, and were driving the young ones back until the jingle of our spurs attracted their attention.

In their momentary pause the young ones clambered down and scampered into the brush, as did some of the larger ones. Others stood their ground for fight, some charging on us, and for awhile the skirmish was close and dangerous. We drove the bears into the willows, on to the sand-bars, and into the water holes ... When the melee was over twelve bears, old and young, were found killed..."

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