Original Document
Original Document
George Catlin, on His Desire to Document All Indian Tribes, 1841.

I have, for many years past, contemplated the noble races of red men who are now spread over these
trackless forests and boundless prairies, melting away at the approach of civilization...

For this purpose, I have designed to visit every tribe of Indians on the Continent, if my life should
be spared; for the purpose of procuring portraits of distinguished Indians, of both sexes in each tribe, painted in their native costume; accompanied with pictures of their villages, domestic habits, games, mysteries, religious ceremonies, &c. with anecdotes, traditions, and history of their respective nations.

If I should live to accomplish my design, the result of my labours will doubtless be interesting to future ages; who will have little else from which to judge of the original inhabitants of this simple race of beings, who require but a few years more of the march of civilization and death, to deprive them all of their native customs and character.

Credit: George Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, London: by the author, 1841.
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