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In this letter, James R. Mead describes his first buffalo hunt to his family and friends. He had recently returned from this adventure and apparently he was extremely successful, having killed thirty buffalo. He provides a rather detailed description of a buffalo's appearance so his friends and family would have a mental picture of this magnificent animal. Mead also mentions other wild animals, such as prairie dogs and rabbits, commenting on their plumpness. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: November 7, 1859
This letter effectively illustrates how white settlers saw buffalo hunting as sport and illuminates how this natural resource would not remain stable if such overhunting continued. Students could discuss this source along with Mead's other letter selected for this standard (dated August 26, 1860) and with images of buffalo and buffalo hunting. Students could also use this source to discuss how the depletion of the buffalo would affect Native American tribes living in Kansas.
KS:7th:3.1:Federal Government and Indian Lands (2005)
Item Number: 90617
Call Number: James Mead Coll. #438 Box 1, Volume 1
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 90617
Collections - Manuscript - Mead, James R.
Community Life - Recreation and Sports - Leisure activities - Hunting
Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Fed. Gov. and Indian lands (Indicator 1) - Depletion of buffalo and natural resources
Date - 1854-1860 - 1859
Environment - Wildlife - Mammals - Buffalo/Bison
Environment - Wildlife - Mammals - Prairie dogs
Environment - Wildlife - Mammals - Rabbits
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - Notable Kansans - Mead, James R.
Places - Cities and towns - Burlingame
Places - Counties - Osage
Thematic Time Period - Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861
Thematic Time Period - Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters