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Exhibit item: JOHN DAVID BORTHWICK, Three Years in California, 1857

Exhibit item:
Three Years in California, 1857

In 1851 John Borthwick joined the gold rush and ventured to California. He traveled to Moquelumne Hill, where he witnessed an extraordinary bear and bull fight between the celebrated bull-killing bear "General Scott" and a young Spanish bull. The bear was tethered to a twenty-foot chain in the middle of the arena and the bull roamed the arena unhampered. General Scott proved a worthy adversary on this day, as the bear defeated not one but two bulls pitted against him at the same time. Borthwick’s sketches are the earliest published depictions of this entertainment.

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