Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Prose


New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository
Of the Catamount, or Panther
April 1795

For the New-York Magazine
OF THE CATAMOUNT, OR PANTHER. [With an Engraving.]

The Panther is, in America, what the Lion and Tyger are in Africa and Asia, the tyrant of the wilderness. The carcajou, the bear, and the wolf avoid his haunts; and the bones of the Buffaloe, the Moose and the Elk, lie scattered around his den. When full grown, his weight is generally one hundred and twenty pounds, and his length, from his muzzle to the end of his tail, little short of ten feet. In height is nearly three feet. His heart, compared with his body, is smaller than that of most ferocious animals; but still his mouth is large, and teeth terrible. Like all other creatures of the feline tribe, his talons are sheathed. His legs are as thick as the fore arm of a man, and his foot much bigger than that of the largest mastiff. he is of a dun lead colour, except his muzzle, which is black. His tail is three fifths of his whole length, is very thick, and trails on the ground when he walks. His whole form indicates a combination of strengh and agility.

The individual from which the annexed drawing was taken was catched at the Ohio some months ago, when he was not a fortnight old. By being ever among men, he is become very tame, and suffers himself even to be beaten by his keeper. Nothing appears to rouse him so much as the appearance of a child: whenever that is the case, his chain alone prevents him from rushing upon it in a moment.

At Boston two bull dogs were let loose upon him. He instantly threw himself upon his back, and with his nails immediately killed one of his assailants, and would have destroyed the other, if he had not been torn away by the bystanders.

Notwithstanding the strength, the agility, and the powers for mischief, possessed by this animal, he is not the object of dread to the hunger, or even the benighted bewildered pilgrim: for, except in the case of children, he carefully shuns the face of man. it is a singularity in the history of nature, that while the forests of Europe, Asia and Africa resound with the shrieks of the victims to the Lion, the Tyger, the Leopard, and the Hyena, the sojourner in America, with no other weapon than a staff of reed, may traverse its wilderness in perfect safety, from the unlimitted ocean of the west, to the shores of the Atlantic.      R.



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