“What A Sight It Was!”

William Cary, traveling west on the Missouri, recorded the life and landscape of a rapidly vanishing frontier

For adventurous young men of the nineteenth century, there was no magnet, not even the sea, to compare with the Plains frontier. Here was the excitement of buffalo hunting, beautiful scenery, and narrow scrapes with Indians enraged at the advance of the white man. Fortunately, William de la Montagne Cary, born in 1840 in Tappan, New York, combined his sense of adventure with a talented hand both for writing and for lively, realistic, genre painting.