Bringing the Buffalo to Canada 

The roundup: in letters 

In the fall of 1907, Howard Douglas, Norman Luxton, Alex Ayotte, and  Dr. David Warnock, a Canadian veterinary surgeon travelled to Montana to oversee the roundup of Pablo’s herd. Much of this first roundup is documented by Norman Luxton through letters to his wife Georgina, photographs, and a document he wrote in 1937 detailing the difficult task of corralling and loading Pablo’s buffalo that roamed wild on the Flathead Reservation.

In this letter to Georgina, written from Ravalli on September 19, 1907, Norman Luxton writes about the difficulties in rounding up Pablo's herd. 

He states, "We have had very poor luck with the buffalo, so far only 80 have been corralled, they are just too wild for any thing charging right through a line of horsemen to get back on their range. They are going to give them one more trial, and then commence to load what they have got which means a week or 10 days more."

In another letter, written on September 30, 1907, Luxton tells Georgina that he "got some very fine photos of the Buffalo, and expect to make a fine souvenir book of them. " This souvenir book was published in [1909] as The Last of the Buffalo. 

In an undated letter to Georgina, Luxton further describes the process of rounding up the buffalo: "we [went] out to the Buffalo Ranch yesterday. Pablo the owner had 66 in the corrals from the day before. Yesterday we saw him and his cowboys round up some 200 hundred drive them for 15 miles as the [  ] run & everyone of them got away. Pablo is now getting together 50 cowboys, and on Monday we will see one of the [greatest] sights ever [beheld] I do not know yet if I will stay to the end. It is taking longer than I expected, as it will take all next week to get them to Pablo’s ranch & from there to the stn, about 30 miles."

Norman Luxton's letters to Georgina Luxton, Luxton Family fonds.

Click on arrows to scroll, click on each letter to expand and read. 

The Last of the Buffalo souvenir booklet, printed in 1908, chronicling the history of the buffalo herd of the Flathead Reservation and an account of the great round up. 

Luxton Family fonds, LUX/I/D4/10/9, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

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