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1801-1810-The Last Buffalo Killed in Ohio. 

The Evening Post
New York, New York May 6 1802

 [The following extract from Mackenzie’s Voyages, republished in this city by Mr. Hopkins, will give some idea of the authors manner of writing. It is hoped it may serve to attract notice to this work and patronage to the publisher.]

“The Portage la Roche is of a level surface, in some parts of bounding with stones, and covered with cypress, the pine, this spruce fir, and other trees natural to it’s soil. Within three miles of the North-West termination, there is a small round lake, whose diameter does not exceed a mile, and which affords a trifling respite to the labour of carrying. Within a mile of the termination of the Portage is a very deep precipice, whose ascent and descent appears to be equally impracticable in any way, as it consists of a succession of eight hills, some of which are almost perpendicular: nevertheless, the Canadians contrive to surmount all these difficulties, even with their canoes and lading.

This precipice, which rises upwards of a thousand feet above the plain beneath it, commands a most extensive, romantic, and ravishing prospect. From thence the eye looks down on the course of the little river, by some called the Swan river, and by others the Clear-Water and Pelican river, beautifully meandering for upwards of thirty miles. The valley, which is at once refreshed and adorned by it, is about three miles in breadth, and is confined by two lofty ridges of equal height, displaying a most delightful intermixture of wood and lawn, and stretching on until the blue mist obscures the prospect. Some parts of the inclining heights are covered with stately forests, relieved by promontories of the finest verdure, where the elk and buffalo fine pasture. These are contrasted by spots where fire has destroyed the woods, and left a dreary void behind it. Nor, when I beheld this wonderful display of uncultivated nature, was the moving scenery of human occupation wanting to complete the picture.– From this elevated situation I beheld my people, diminished, as it were, to half their size, and employed in pitching their tents in a charming meadow, and among the canoes, which, being turned up on their sides, presented their reddened bottoms in contrast with the surrounding verdure. At the same time, the process of gumming them produced numerous small spires of smoke, which, as they rose, enlivened the scene, and at length blended with the larger columns that ascended from the fires where the uppers were preparing. It was in the month of September when I enjoyed a scene, of which I do not presume to give an adequate description; and as it was the rutting season of the elk, the whistling of that animal was beard in all the variety which the echoes could afford it.


The Waterford Mirror
Waterford, Waterford, Ireland 05 Jul 1802

The rage for experiments in improving our breed of cattle, would render it matter of little surprise to us, if we saw the Buffalo domesticated on our farms. Mr. Turner, an English breeder, of very respectable character, gives us an account of that animal, which is very interesting and he declares came within his own knowledge:

“A farmer on the great Kenhawa, broke a young Buffalo to the plough; having yoked it with a steer taken from his tame cattle. The Buffalo performed to admiration. Enquiring of the man, whether he had any fault to find with the Buffalo’s performance, he answered, there, was, but one objection to it: the step of the Buffalo was too quick for that of the tame steer.

” My friend,”, said, ” the fault lies not in the Buffalo, but in the steer: what you term a fault in the former is really an advantage on its side.” Till this moment, the man labored under one of those clouds of prejudice but too common among farmers. He had taken the ox off his father’s farm, as the unit whence all his calculations were to be made, and his conclusions drawn: it was his unchangeable standard of excellence, whether applied to the plough or draft. No sooner was my observation uttered, than conviction flawed on his mind. He acknowledged the superiority of the Buffalo. ” But there is another property in which the Buffalo far surpasses the ox: his strength, judging from the extraordinary size of his bones, and the depth and formation of his chest,’ I should not think it unreasonable to assign near a double proportion of strength to this powerful inhabitant of the forest. Reclaim him and you gain a capital quadruped for the draught and for the plough: his activity peculiarly sits him for the latter, in preference to the ox.


Alexandria Advertiser and Commercial Intelligencer
 Alexandria Va. Aug 29 1803

One other tract containing 1600 acres, together with a moiety of a MIL, lying in Frederick country, where the said tract is called and known by the name of “Buffaloe Marsh”


The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser
Washington City DC  October 21, 1803  (extract)

There is a non-descript quadruped found high up the Missouri, about the size of a fall grown elk. He is covered with a coat of long fine hair, and has a horn on each side of the head, which turning upwards describes a volute and passes off horizontally parallel with the nose. Some of these horns were presented to the commandant of St. Louis, who informed me, that their diameter, at the root, was equal to the crown of his hat. He has sent them to the Baron de Carondolet, gov. general of Louisiana which deprived me of the satisfaction of seeing them. This animal is said to be docile, and very useful to the natives, as a beast of burden or an article of food.

Buffaloes are extremely numerous in the Missouri country, as far, at least, at it has been explored, and of various importance to the Indians. The flesh affords a nutritious and well flavored aliment. Spoons, drinking  vessels &c. are made of the horns.—The tallow, and bones serve for several purposes. The hide they dress with the brains, leaving on the wool, and often decorating the other side with paints, or an embroidery of  porcupine quills, dyed of various colours, of which  red, yellow, and black are brilliant; and some times both are employed together. Thus dressed they serve as mats, wearing the woolly side inward in winter,  and outwards in summer. They form besides an important article of traffic, many thousand of the dressed skins being brought into St. Louis,  on every return of the Ausage and Missouri companies servants.  . These robes de Buffle, as the French term them, are much used in the Illinois country, both by Spaniards and French, a cover lids in winter; and numbers are sent to New-Orleans, and sold to the shipping.  Their wool might be valuably employed in the manufacture of felt hats; and the horns, which are of a glossy black, and readily take a high polish,  are convertible; to many purposes,  both useful and ornamental; such as drinking vessels, handles for knives, forks and cutteaux,  powder-horns, etc.


 Virginia Argus
Richmond, Va. Nov 23, 1803


That part of Upper Louisiana, which borders on North Mexico, is one immense prairie; it produces nothing but grass; it is filled with buffalo, deer, and other kinds of game; the land is represented as too rich for the growth of the forest trees.


The United States Gazette
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
24 Apr 1804

The library society have politely lent Mr. Peale some of the bones of the Mammoth which were dug in Santee canal. It appears that the animal to which they belonged must have been something larger than that which was discovered in N York.  There are likewise some teeth, which appear to be of the buffalo, two broken bones, which appear to be human, and a fragment of a remarkable tooth or tusk, of some kind unknown. It therefore appears that our whole continent, as well as Europe, has undergone some violent changes by which these various animals been destroyed and their bones buried in the earth; only those being preserved for our inspection which have been protected from decay by calcareous earth, generally in the form of shell marle. { Ckurleston Pap.


Virginia Argus.
Richmond Va. February 22, 1804
extract of a letter dated October 13, 1803 from Natchitoches, 300 miles up the Red river, written by a gentleman who had explored that country and now resides there.

“The subject of the western limits of Louisiana excites here among the French and Spaniards considerable anxiety. Many suppose it to begin at Cape Nord, which is near the mouth of the Sabine River, and runs so as to include all the waters of Red River – but whether it is straight or a curved line is another question; a straight line from Cape Nord to the head of Red River will include, I believe, the most beautiful country in America now part of the Spanish province of Tachus (spelled Taxes); for Red River, near the Lodds (Ledds?) nation (a friendly tribe of Indians) about 100 miles above this post forks; the main branch of it, which is a very large river runs in a direction near due E. and W. and is navigable 1000 miles – it rises in the mountains of Sainta Ta,  the head branches nearly or quite interlock with the River Jeronimo de Toos or Zana river, a large branch of river Grand or Aravo. At or a little below its confluence with the river Grand is situated the city of Sainta Ta,  the capital of New Mexico. This main branch of Red River crosses the heads at nearly right angles at the Sabine Angelina or Snow river, Trinty the Brous (or the arm of God) the Colorado. St. Antony, & Guadalupe rivers, which are generally from 3 to 500 miles, long and empty separately into the Gulph of Mexico,  between Red river and river Grand, so that a right line from Cape Nord will extend nearly W.N.W. and cut across several of those rivers towards their heads, and enclose some of the finest countries in the world, abounding with rich prairies, stocked with buffaloes, wild horses, mules, hogs, antelope, etc. and no hostile Indians to contend with. But should the line be a curve pursuing some watercourse until it arrives at the dividing ridges that divides the waters of Red river  from the heads of those before mentioned rivers, it will make an immense difference both been quantity  an quality of the land it will include. There does not appear, 9so far as I can learn) ever to have been any agreement between the governments of France and Spain before Louisiana was ceded to Spain, about the boundaries. Since it all became Spanish the neighboring commandments came to some arrangement about their limits of jurisdiction between Tachus  and Louisiana, but that can have no influence in settling the line. I suppose it must be an object of negotiation. The United States are in a condition to claim all that ever was considered Louisiana without relinquishing an inch. Some say (among whom is colonel Hutchins) that Louisiana goes to river Grand, including St. Bernardo bay; and I hope the United States will lose nothing for want of cleaning it. But Louisiana, at any rate cannot be governed and one or two states;  it will be found in a triangle form, reaching as far north as 45, where it may be settled – beyond that is an unknown country. Between 29 and 45 we may call its length, including 16° of latitude, and from 45 north latitude on Mississippi along that latitude in a line to the western branches of Red river will be about as far. Reckoning 69 geographical miles to a degree, will make 1104 miles, the length of two sides of that part of Louisiana that can be settled. The Westside will be much longer, and from the river Apaioch (sp) to Cape Nord, is nearly 400 miles on the Gulph of Mexico, on a straight line, which will comprehend nearly one million, of square miles, or 640 million of acres and a very large proportion of it bit for cultivation.

“ I believe the account here given is as correct as the present state of country will afford. The inhabitants, governmental coois (?) Accepted, are pleased with the line change.”



The Last Buffalo Killed in Ohio. 
Gallipolis Journal, Gallipolis, Ohio Nov 6th 1851 (1802)

In 1843, an old hunter of Jackson county, Mr. George Willis, told us that he saw the last Buffalo killed within the limits of this State. He was shot by a hunter named Keenes, near the head waters of Symmes creek, in the year 1802. It is therefore less than fifty years since the wild ox was finally exterminated in Ohio. The paths made by Buffalo travelling to and from the salt licks in Jackson county, are still visible, and look like old and deeply worn wagon roads, extending over hills and across valleys and streams, many miles together. By the side of these ancient paths are large cavities, called “Buffalo wallows,” where he amused himself by pawing the ground, rolling in the dust, and bellowing to his heart’s content. Agriculture.


The Cork Mercantile Nov 16 1802

1801-1810 Cork Merc Nov 16 1802 hides forsale ad


The Cork Mercantile Nov 26 1802

1801-1810 Cork Merc Nov 26 1802 hides for sale ad


The Cork Mercantile June 2 1803

1801-1810 The Cork Merc. June 2 1803 robe ad


The Raleigh Minerva
Raleigh, North Carolina Dec 5 1803

General description of Upper Louisiana.

When compared with the Indian territory, the face of the country in upper Louisiana is rather more broken, tho’ the soil is equally fertile. It is a fact not to be concealed, that the West side of the river possesses some advantages, not generally incident to whole regions. It is elevated and healthy, and well watered with a variety of large rapid streams, calculated for mills and other water works. From Cape Girardeau, above the mouth of the Ohio, to the Missouri, the land on the east side of the Mississippi is low and flat, and occasionally exposed to inundations; that on the Louisiana side, contiguous to the river, is generally much higher, and in many places very rocky on the shore. Some of the heights exhibit a scene truly picturesque. They rise to a height of at least 300 feet, faced with perpendicular line and free-stone, carved into various shapes and figures by the hand of nature, and afford the appearance of a multitude of antique towers.

From the tops of these elevations, the land gradually slopes back from the river, without gravel or rock, and is covered with valuable timber. It may be said with truth that, for fertility of soil no part of the world exceeds the borders of the Mississippi, the land yields an abundance of all the necessaries of life, & almost spontaneously; very little labour being required in the cultivation of the earth. That part of Upper Louisiana, which borders on the North Mexico, is one immense prairie; it produces nothing but grass: it is filled with buffalo, deer, and other kinds of game; the land is represented as too rich for the growth of forest trees.


The United States Gazette
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
24 Apr 1804

The library society have politely lent Mr. Peale some of the bones of the Mammoth which were dug in Santee canal. It appears that the animal to which they belonged must have been something larger than that which was discovered in N York.  There are likewise some teeth, which appear to be of the buffalo, two broken bones, which appear to be human, and a fragment of a remarkable tooth or tusk, of some kind unknown. It therefore appears that our whole continent, as well as Europe, has undergone some violent changes by which these various animals been destroyed and their bones buried in the earth; only those being preserved for our inspection which have been protected from decay by calcareous earth, generally in the form of shell marle. { Ckurleston Pap.



The London Times March 5 1805

1801-1810 The London Times March 5 1805



-Today we passed on the Stard. side the remains of a vast many mangled carcases of Buffalow which had been driven over a precipice of 120 feet by the Indians and perished; the water appeared to have washed away a part of this immence pile of slaughter and still their remained the fragments of at least a hundred carcases they created a most horrid stench.  In this manner the Indians of the Missouri distroy vast herds of buffaloe at a stroke; for this purpose one of the most active and fleet young men is scelected and 〈being〉 disguised in a robe of buffaloe skin, having also the skin of the buffaloe’s head with the years and horns fastened on his head in form of a cap, thus caparisoned he places himself at a convenient distance between a herd of buffaloe and a precipice proper for the purpose, which happens in many places on this river for miles together; the other indians now surround the herd on the back and flanks and at a signal agreed on all shew themselves at the same time moving forward towards the buffaloe; the disguised indian or decoy has taken care to place himself sufficiently nigh the buffaloe to be noticed by them when they take to flight and runing before them they follow him in full speede to the precepice, the cattle behind driving those in front over and seeing them go do not look or hesitate about following untill the whole are precipitated down the precepice forming one common mass of dead an mangled carcases; the 〈Indian〉 decoy in the mean time has taken care to secure himself in some cranney or crivice of the clift which he had previously prepared for that purpose.    the part of the decoy I am informed is extreamly dangerous, if they are not very fleet runers the buffaloe tread them under foot and crush them to death, and sometimes drive them over the precepice also, where they perish in common with the buffaloe. –

Meriwether Lewis  1801-1810 Lewis and Clark Camp at Slaughter RiverLewis and Clark Camp at Slaughter River
Photo from National Register collection,
by David G. Conklin, Montana Department of Fish and Game
Photo courtesy of Discovering Lewis and Clark
The explorers wrongly attributed this jump to some Blackfeet Indians, whose two-week-old campsite was found earlier in the day. The buffalo had simply drowned in the river and piled up on the bank when the ice broke. The presence of these buffalo was the inspiration for naming the nearby creek Slaughter River (now Arrow Creek). The party arrived again at Slaughter River on July 29, 1806, just two days after Lewis’s struggle with the Piegans, a Blackfoot tribe, at Two Medicine Fight Site. While at this campsite the explorers killed a wolf, an elk, two beavers and nine Audubon bighorn sheep.The Lewis and Clark Camp at Slaughter River is located in Montana 40 miles south of Big Sandy on the north bank of the Missouri River approximately ¾ of a mile upstream from the mouth of Arrow Creek. For information on river trips that include this campsite, visit Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/sla.htm



The Adams Sentinel
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Aug 6 1806
From the Richmond Enquirer.


A pamphlet of 128 pages has been published in New York, containing a “message from the President of the United States communicating discoveries made in exploring the Missouri, Red River, and Washita,  by captains Lewis, and Clark, Dr. Sibley and Mr. Dunbar; with a statistical account of the countries adjacent.” This communication was read in Congress February 19th, 1806.

The President’s message we have already published among the journals of Congress. It is sufficient, therefore, to recall our readers, that the President sets out with declaring the objects of captains Lewis and Clark’s tour to be, the exploring of the river Mississippi, from its mouth to its source, the crossing of the Highlands by the shortest portage, to seek the best water communication from thence to the pacific ocean, and or green into conference with the Indian nations on their route, for the purpose of establishing a commercial connection. Five documents accompany this communication.

1st. A letter from capt. Lewis, written on 7th of April, 1805, from his winter quarters near the Mandan towns.

2d. Captain Lewis’s map of the Missouri, made by actual measurement, to which is added a map of the country line between the Mississippi and Pacific, from the 34th to the 54th degrees of latitude, D deduced from the best information collected from the Indians.

3d. His statistical view of the Indian tribes and the Louisiana territory, and in the countries adjacent to its northern and western borders.

4th. Dr. Sibley’s account of the Indians in and adjacent to the territory of Orleans. Thus giving a general view of the Indians to the west of the Mississippi.

5th. Dr. Sibley’s account of the Red River.

6th. An account of the Washita River from its junction with Red River to a point adjacent to the remarkable hot springs, by Dr. Dunbar

The map of the Missouri does not accompany the pamphlet before us.

Captain Lewis’s letter to Mr. Jefferson was published during the last year. In this letter, he observes: “we do not calculate on completing our voyage during the present year, but expect to reach the Pacific ocean, and returned as far as the head of the Missouri, or perhaps to this place before the winter. You may therefore expect me to meet you at Monticello in September, 1806. On our return, we shall probably pass down the Yallow Stone river.”

The remainder of this pamphlet is there for occupied by the four last documents, which we have mentioned. The first of these is;

A statistical account of the Indian nations inhabiting the territory of Louisiana, and the countries adjacent to its northern and western boundaries.

This view is too extensive to be easily or usefully abridged. We have, therefore, deemed it sufficient to give the following table of such peculiar’s as it is important to know, or condense.

  1. is the name of the tribes
  2. the amount of merchandise necessary for their annual consumption, estimated in dollars, at the St. Louis prices;
  3. the estimate amount, in dollars, of their annual returns, at the St. Louis prices.



Catanhaws, Blackfoot Indians; Blue Mud, and Longhair Indians, Flathead Indians, Allatans or Snakes, are very numerous and trade with the Spaniards of New Mexico Pankque Priducas.

The pamphlet before us, particularly describes “the rivers on which these tribes rove, or, on which their villages are situated;” as well as the species of peltries, and furs, and other articles, which they do, or could annually supply. These principally consist of the skins of small deer, black bear, beaver, otter, raccoon, muskrats, wolves, elk, Missouri antelope, mink: of buffalo robes; tallow, and grease, bears oil ; some horses.

It contains besides a great mass of information, on many miscellaneous subjects. We may select, for example:

1st. That of all these Indians, there are four tribes of the Sioux nation, who may be particularly denominated the pirates of the Missouri. Deriving their goods through the river St. Peter’s they are indifferent to the free navigation of the Missouri, and they will externally prevent the United States from completely enjoying the benefits of that river, until they are reduced to order by coercive measures.

2d. That it is in the country inhabited by these lawless bands that the Missouri, derives most of its coloring matter; the earth being “strongly impregnated with Glauber salt, allum, copperas, and sulphur, and when saturated with water immense bodies of the hills precipitate themselves into the river, and mingle with its waters.”

3d. That of these tribes, the Blackfoot Indians and the Flathead reside beyond the Rocky Mountains, which separate the rivers, flowing into the Pacific, from those which empty into the Atlantic. The Allatans or Snake Indians reside for the most part among the Rocky Mountains.

4th. That the smallpox has made great ravages among some of the tribes. Could our government then contribute more effectually to their prosperity, or to its own popularity, then by introducing among them the inestimable art of vaccination?

5th. That the benefit to be derived from the fur trade, is already great, and may be still further extended, by our encouraging commercial establishments upon the Missouri, and taking them out of the hands of the North Western company.

Historical sketches of the several Indian tribes, between the south of the Arkansa river, and between the Mississippi and river Grand.

Dr. Sibley’s account of these tribes is minute and curious. It is impossible however, for us to extract any more than their names and very few interesting peculiars.

Caddoques live about 35 miles west of the main branch of the Red River on a bavau or creek, about 120 miles from Natchitocks. They lived where they do now only 5 years. The first year the smallpox got among them, and destroyed nearly one half of them; it was in the winter season, and they practiced plunging into the creek, on the first appearance of the eruption, and died, within a few hours. They have a traditionary tale, which half a dozen other smaller nations believe in, who claim the honor of being descendents of the same family ; they say when all the world was drowned by a flood that inundated the whole country, the great spirit placed on an erainence , one family of Caddoques who alone were saved; from that family all the Indians originated. The number of their warriors is reduced to about one hundred.

Yettassees live about 50____ above Natchitocks. The Spanish government at present,  jurisdiction over this settlement, where they keep a guard of non-commissioned officer and 8 soldiers.

A few months ago, the Caddoc Chief with a few of his young man were coming to this place to trade, and came that way which is the usual road. The Spanish officer of the guard threatened to stop them from trading with the Americans, told the chief that if he returned that way with the goods he should take them from him. The chief and his party were very angry and threatened to kill the whole guard, and told them — that road has been theirs, and if the Spaniards attempted to prevent their using it as their ancestors had always done, he would soon make it a bloody road. He came here, purchased the goods, and might have returned another way & avoided the Spanish guard, and was advised to do so; but he said he would pass by them, and let them attempt to stop him if they dared. The guard said nothing to him as he returned.

Nandakoes : Adaize : Alicke : Keyes : Inies : Nabedaches : Bedies : Accokeshaws : Mayes : Carankonas : Kances : Tankawas : Tawekenoes : Panis, rove in part of Orleans.

Hietans, to who, several curious customs are ascribed.

They are strong and athletic, and the elderly man as fat as if they had lived upon English beef and porter.

It is said the man who kills a buffaloe, catches the blood & drinks it while warm, they likewise eat the liver raw, before it is cold, and use the gaul by way of sauce. They are, for savages, uncommonly clean in their perions; the dress of the women is a long loose robe, that reaches from the chin to the ground, tied round with a fancy sash or girdle all made up neatly dressed feathers on which they paint figures of different colors and significations; the address of the man is close leather pantaloons, and a hunting shirt, or frock of the same. They never remained long enough in the same place to plant anything, the small Cayenne pepper grows spontaneously in the country, with which, and some wild herbs and fruits, particularly a bean that grows in great plenty on a small tree resembling a willow, called mash^to, the women cook their buffaloe beef in a manner that would be grateful to an English Squire.


The Evening Post 
New York, New York Nov. 4 1806

Frankfort, (Kentucky,) Oct. 9.
By the mail of this morning we have received from an obliging friend the following letter from Capt. Clark to his brother, general Clark, near Louisville. Captain Clark did not perhaps intend it for publication, but to gratify in some measure, the important wishes of his countrymen, the general was prevailed upon to permit its appearance in our paper of to-day.

St Louis, 23d September, 1806

Dear Brother,
We arrived at this place at 12 o’clock today, from the Pacific Ocean, where we remained during the last winter, near the entrance of the Columbia River. (skip forward)

We now purchased 17 horses of the Indians, and hired a guide, who assured us that he could in fifteen days take us to a large river in an open country west of these mountains, by a route some distance to the north of the river on which they lived, and that by which the natives west of the mountains, visit the plain of the Missouri, for the purpose of hunting buffalo. Every preparation being made, we set forward with our guide on the 31st of August, through the tremendous mountains, in which we continued until the 22d of September, before we reached the lower country beyond them; on our way we met with the Olelachshook, a band of the Tuchapaks, from whom we obtained an accession of seven horses and exchanged eight or ten others; this proved of infinite service to us, as we were compelled to subsist of horse beef about eight days before they reached the KoosKooske. (continues)



The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser
Washington DC March 25, 1808

Notice to the Public

Stayed to my place convenient to the Hotel, city of Washington, on the 14th of March 1808, a small Brindle Buffalo COW, the tops of the ears cropped, no other marks appearing. Any person proving property and paying expenses, will please to call at my house as above mentioned.
March 23, 1808