George Catlin

(1769 - 1872)

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1796, George Catlin practiced law before turning to portrait painting in 1823. In 1830 he traveled to St. Louis with the intent of documenting the customs of the American Indians. In Letters and Notes on the North American Indians, Catlin gives an account of the game that came to be known as lacrosse; his discription is among the earliest descriptions of the game in English. He made more than five hundred paintings and sketches in the course of his life, the majority of which the Smithsonian Institution bought in 1879.

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