1400 to 1699



Early America’s explorers first seeing our bison, had no idea what they were, and they have been called many various terms; buffalo, bison, wild ocshen, buffelo, wild ox, wild cattle, cibola, vaca, wild beast, etc..It depends where and when I am searching. Many remarking they look like those of Europe but much larger and darker. Today, the European bison species is said to be larger than American. (a whole other subject I may or may not get into. A friend commented “rabbit hole”.)   I might also point out that I pretty much ignore articles from out of country because they could be speaking of Asian buffalo. There is no way for me to know in most cases, so they are tossed out of my discoveries. In some cases, however, they will say from America.  (Tyger means any wild cat in America)


1554 American Bison Drawing
American Bison illus. with descriptive text in Spanish 1554 Francisco López de Gómara, La Historia General de las Indians LOC 2006677962



Henry Kellsey, a factor of the Hudson Bay Company, in a report of his explorations in the far west of Canada, in 1691, tells of his party sighting buffalo in large numbers. A few years later this explorer became the first white buffalo hunter on the plains of western Canada. He tells that everywhere the Indians were slaughtering, taking only the choice pieces and leaving the greater portion of each slain body to the wolves which followed in large bands.

1699 Buffalo Drawing
 1699, Buffalo Drawing LOC-A new discovery of a vast country in America. Louis Hennepin, London LOC