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Plains Collection

The vast expanse of the plains has witnessed countless stories unfold throughout history

Background imagePlains Collection: Mormons caught in a prairie blizzard en route to Utah

Mormons caught in a prairie blizzard en route to Utah
Mormon hand-cart company struggling across the plains to Salt Lake City. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Country House

Country House
Inge Schuster

Background imagePlains Collection: Buffalo soldiers charging to the rescue

Buffalo soldiers charging to the rescue
Captain Dodges black troopers to the rescue in the west. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century Frederic Remington illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Native American attack on a western stagecoach

Native American attack on a western stagecoach
Western stagecoach fighting off Native Americans on the plains. Printed color halftone reproduction of a Frederic Remington illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Earth, topographic and bathymetric map

Earth, topographic and bathymetric map. This whole Earth map is centred on the Greenwich meridian, at zero degrees latitude

Background imagePlains Collection: CHEYENNE CHIEF, c1910. The Cheyenne chief Two Moons. Photographed by Edward S. Curtis, c1910

CHEYENNE CHIEF, c1910. The Cheyenne chief Two Moons. Photographed by Edward S. Curtis, c1910

Background imagePlains Collection: SITTING BULL (1834-1890). Sioux Native American leader

SITTING BULL (1834-1890). Sioux Native American leader

Background imagePlains Collection: QUANAH PARKER (1845?-1911). Native American Kwahadi Comanche leader. Photographed c1895

QUANAH PARKER (1845?-1911). Native American Kwahadi Comanche leader. Photographed c1895

Background imagePlains Collection: Fort Dearborn, on the site of Chicago

Fort Dearborn, on the site of Chicago
Fort Dearborn in 1803, on the south side of the Chicago River. Hand-colored halftone reproduction of an illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Sioux Indian Chief - Hollow Horn Bear

Sioux Indian Chief - Hollow Horn Bear (18501913) - a BruleIakota leader during the Indian Wars on the Great Plains of the United States. Date: 1906

Background imagePlains Collection: Australia, satellite image

Australia, satellite image
Australia. Satellite image of the Earth, set against a background of stars, centred on the island continent of Australia. North is at top. Clouds (white) are seen in the atmosphere

Background imagePlains Collection: Australia, topographic map

Australia, topographic map. Highlands and lowlands of the continents are shown as ridges and flat areas. Southeast Asia (top left), New Zealand (lower right) and Antarctica (bottom right)

Background imagePlains Collection: Two cheetahs sprint after their quarry

Two cheetahs sprint after their quarry

Background imagePlains Collection: NATI2A-00016

NATI2A-00016
Earth lodge of the Omaha tribe, Great Plains, 1800s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Earth, topographic and bathymetric map

Earth, topographic and bathymetric map. This map is centred on the Pacific Ocean, at longitude 140 degrees west. Highlands and lowlands of the continents are shown as ridges and flat areas

Background imagePlains Collection: Umbrella acacia trees

Umbrella acacia trees, Masai Mara, Kenya, East Africa, Africa

Background imagePlains Collection: Zulu / Surrender 1879

Zulu / Surrender 1879
The end of the Zulu War - the surrender of native chiefs to Sir G. Wolseley. They sit together on the plains and hold a peace conference

Background imagePlains Collection: Tetons with first light in the valley with snow

Tetons with first light in the valley with snow, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, United States of America, North America

Background imagePlains Collection: Pioneer family on the Oregon Trail

Pioneer family on the Oregon Trail
Covered wagon of a homesteader family heading west with their belongings. Hand-colored engraving combined with a photograph

Background imagePlains Collection: Sioux tepee of buffalo-hide

Sioux tepee of buffalo-hide
Tipi made of buffalo hide sewn with sinew in the traditional way, Wicoti Living History Lakota Encampment, Black Hills, SD. Digital photograph

Background imagePlains Collection: Ufos / Roswell Crash

Ufos / Roswell Crash
At the Foster Ranch, New Mexico, debris supposed to be from a crashed UFO is found, alien bodies allegedly retrieved from second site on the Plains of San Agostin

Background imagePlains Collection: African elephant (Loxodonta africana) herd walking in the plains during the dry season

African elephant (Loxodonta africana) herd walking in the plains during the dry season, Masai-Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. October

Background imagePlains Collection: The Roswell Incident

The Roswell Incident
At the Foster Ranch in New Mexico, debris supposed to be from a crashed UFO is found, with alien bodies allegedly retrieved from a second site on the plains of San Agostin

Background imagePlains Collection: Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris) six month old cub jumping on its mother

Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris) six month old cub jumping on its mother, Bandhavgarh National Park, India

Background imagePlains Collection: African Wild dogs or Cape hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus) at close range taken from ground level

African Wild dogs or Cape hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus) at close range taken from ground level, Zimanga Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Background imagePlains Collection: CYNTHIA ANN PARKER (1827-1865). American frontierswoman and Native American Cherokee captive

CYNTHIA ANN PARKER (1827-1865). American frontierswoman and Native American Cherokee captive, mother of Comanche chief Quanah Parker, pictured here with her infant daughter, Topasannah

Background imagePlains Collection: Color lithograph, 1845, by James Ackerman after George Catlin

Color lithograph, 1845, by James Ackerman after George Catlin
SIOUX LACROSSE PLAYERS. Color lithograph, 1845, by James Ackerman after George Catlin

Background imagePlains Collection: Allosaurus dinosaur, artwork

Allosaurus dinosaur, artwork. Allosaurs were large carnivorous reptiles that lived during the late Jurassic period (155 to 145 million years ago)

Background imagePlains Collection: Telegraph poles following the transcontinental railroad

Telegraph poles following the transcontinental railroad
Linemen stringing telegraph wire beside the transcontinental railroad on the Great Plains, 1860s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Oregon Trail pioneers passing Chimney Rock

Oregon Trail pioneers passing Chimney Rock
Covered wagons passing Chimney Rock, a landmark on the Oregon Trail, Nebraska. Hand-colored woodcut combined with a photograph of Chimney Rock

Background imagePlains Collection: Mormon Trail hand-cart

Mormon Trail hand-cart
Mormon hand-cart replica on the Oregon/Mormon Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska. Digital photograph

Background imagePlains Collection: Sioux Nation at Standing Rock Reservation, ND, 1890

Sioux Nation at Standing Rock Reservation, ND, 1890
Taking a census at the Sioux Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota, 1890. Albertype reproduction of a photograph

Background imagePlains Collection: Wolf-skins disguising Native American hunters

Wolf-skins disguising Native American hunters
Native Americans in wolf skins stalking buffalo. Hand-colored woodcut of a 20th century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Omaha Indian village of tipis

Omaha Indian village of tipis
Part of the hoo-thu-ga, a circle of dwellings of the Omaha tribe. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Putting in seed on a bonanza farm, 1800s

Putting in seed on a bonanza farm, 1800s
Seeding grain on a bonanza farm, North Dakota, early 1890s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: Native Americans meet Lewis and Clark at Council Bluffs

Native Americans meet Lewis and Clark at Council Bluffs
Lewis and Clark meeting with Native Americans at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Hand-colored woodcut by Patrick Goss, a member of the expedition

Background imagePlains Collection: Buffalo herd in South Dakota

Buffalo herd in South Dakota
Free-ranging buffalo herd on the grasslands of Custer State Park, Black Hills, South Dakota. Digital photograph

Background imagePlains Collection: Africa, topographic map

Africa, topographic map. Highlands and lowlands of the continents are shown as ridges and flat areas. Southern Europe and the Middle East are also seen at top and upper right respectively

Background imagePlains Collection: Canadian World War One Patriotic Postcard

Canadian World War One Patriotic Postcard. " Here Comes Canada!" Date: circa 1916

Background imagePlains Collection: HSET2A-00007

HSET2A-00007
Families in covered wagons crossing the plains. Hand-colored engraving of a 19th-century illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: NATI2A-00179

NATI2A-00179
Sioux brave heralding the sunrise. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century Frederic Remington illustration

Background imagePlains Collection: South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Spioenkop Game Reserve

South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Spioenkop Game Reserve. Female Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) & her young. South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Spioenkop Game Reserve

Background imagePlains Collection: Looking out from a game-viewing vehicle on a safari holiday

Looking out from a game-viewing vehicle on a safari holiday

Background imagePlains Collection: Sunrise at Bosley Cloud, near Congleton, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Sunrise at Bosley Cloud, near Congleton, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Background imagePlains Collection: Sunrise over the temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Sunrise over the temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Background imagePlains Collection: Picture No. 11073907

Picture No. 11073907
Monte Vettore in snow Monti Sibillini National Park, Italy

Background imagePlains Collection: GHOST DANCE, c1888. Barbarism Illustrated: The North American Manner

GHOST DANCE, c1888. Barbarism Illustrated: The North American Manner. Contemporary depiction of the Ghost Dance, drawn by John Steeple Davis. Wood engraving, c1888

Background imagePlains Collection: HSET2A-00125

HSET2A-00125
African-American buffalo soldier riding a frisky horse fresh from the herd, 1880s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration by Frederic Remington



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The vast expanse of the plains has witnessed countless stories unfold throughout history. From Native American attacks on western stagecoaches to the intricate details etched on Earth's topographic and bathymetric maps, these wide-open spaces hold a multitude of tales. In the late 1800s, as settlers ventured westward, a stagecoach traversing the plains fell victim to a fierce Native American attack. The clash between cultures left an indelible mark on this untamed land. Amongst the warriors who fought valiantly were legendary figures such as Cheyenne Chief Two Moons and Sioux leader Sitting Bull. Their photographs captured by Edward S. Curtis in 1910 serve as powerful reminders of their strength and resilience. Another influential figure emerged from these plains - Quanah Parker, a Kwahadi Comanche leader who defied all odds. His photograph taken around 1895 showcases his regal presence and unwavering determination. As settlements began to dot the landscape, Fort Dearborn stood tall on what would become Chicago's site. It served as both protection and symbolized conflicts between indigenous peoples and incoming settlers. During times of peril, like when buffalo soldiers charged to rescue those in need or when Mormons found themselves caught in prairie blizzards en route to Utah, bravery prevailed against nature's wrath. While elephants may seem out of place amidst these narratives, they too have roamed across vast grasslands akin to the plains – their majestic presence reminding us that beauty knows no bounds or borders. Hollow Horn Bear stands proudly among Sioux Indian chiefs whose legacies are intertwined with this expansive terrain. Their wisdom echoes through generations even today. Not limited solely to North America, Australia also boasts its own breathtaking version of these open spaces captured vividly in satellite images – showcasing yet another facet of our planet's diverse landscapes. Lastly, we cannot forget about the fur trade era where flintlock pistols played a pivotal role.