the emigrants pushed west along they Platte River, they
would have their first encounter with a great western legend--buffalo.
"We saw them in frightful droves as far as the eye
could reach; appearing at a distance as if the ground itself
was moving like a sea."
"Buffalo extended the whole length of our afternoon's
travel, not in hundreds, but in solid phalanx. I estimated
immense herds sometimes blocked the way of the emigrants--one
wagon train had to wait two hours for stampeding buffalo
to pass by.The emigrant's first reaction was to temporarily
abandon the journey and rush off on a buffalo hunt--not
for food, for sport.
the Native Americans, who used
nearly every part of the buffalo, the emigrants often left
the carcasses to rot--contributing to near-extinction of
"The valley of the Platte for 200 miles; dotted
with skeletons of buffalos; such a waste of the creatures
God had made for man seems wicked, but every emigrant seems
to wish to signalize himself by killing a buffalo."