Publication Date

January 1992


"We called it La Riviere aux Boeuf, that is, the River of Bullocks, by reason of the great number of them there was about it. These bullocks are very like ours; there are thousands of them, ~ut instead of hair they have a very long curled sort of wool." Thus did Henri Joutel in 1685 describe what we believe to be the Guadalupe River in Texas in his "Historical Journal of Monsieur de la Salle's Last Voyage to Discover the River Mississippi."1 The "bullocks," "boeuf ," that Joutel described were American bison. In 1686, near Apalachioca, Florida, and Dothan, Alabama, explorer Marcos Delgado described the beasts he encountered as "a kind of animal like cows."2 The buffalo are gone from the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, but the documents describing the area when they existed are still available.



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