George Catlin’s Creed
This is from a lovely video I saw on FaceBook. You can view the video here:
Here is the narrative:
“You know there was an artist, a very perceptive, very famous artist back in the first half of the 1800s. It was called the 19th Century. And for 8 to 9 years he lived among the Indians. He traveled among many of them, and he got to know them.
Sometime after 1840 he wrote… a book. Many books, in fact. And I want you to listen to George Catlin’s Creed.
George Catlin, wow, what a man. He said:
I love a people who are honest without laws, who have no jails and no poorhouses.
I love a people who keep the commandments without ever having read or heard them preached from the pulpit.
I love a people who never swear or take the name of God in vain.
I love a people “who love their neighbors as they love themselves.”
I love a people who worship God without a Bible, for I believe that God loves them also.
I love a people whose religion is all the same, and who are free from religious animosities.
I love a people who have never raised a hand against me, or stolen my property, when there was no law to punish either.
I love and don’t fear mankind where God has made and left them, for they are his children.
I love the people who have never fought a battle with the white man, except on their own ground.
I love a people who live and keep what is their own without lock and keys.
I love a people who do the best they can. And oh how I love a people who don’t live for the love of money.
|George Catlin’s Creed (alternate link to video)
George Catlin was an artist that spent 8 years living among the tribal people of the Great Plains of America during the “pre-civilization” days. He also had this short narrative to explain his reason and observations for writing the above creed.
|“All history goes to prove that when first visited by civilized people, the American Indians have been found friendly and hospitable —- from the days of Christopher Columbus to the Lewis and Clark expedition … And so also have a great many travelers, including myself: Nowhere to my knowledge, have they stolen a six-pence worth of my property. Though in their country there are no laws to punish for theft. I have visited 48 different tribes, and feel authorized to say that the North American Indian in his native state is honest, hospitable, faithful, brave,… and an honorable and religious human being…”