Which story of the catamount hunt can we believe?

A primary source can be a firsthand account of an event written by someone who was there.  But can we always trust primary sources?pantherposterlong

There are two accounts of the famous catamount hunt on Thanksgiving Day in 1881.  Can these two pieces of evidence tell us what really happened that day?


Story #1 (PDF)  A letter by C. Dana and Alexander Crowell


Story #2 (PDF)  A newspaper account by James Cadwell

Read both stories and think about these questions.


In the Vermont History Museum, the label next to the catamount says:

"He was shot by Alexander Crowell, using the gun that is in the case." 

What parts of the story does this leave out? 
Should Alexander Crowell get all the credit for shooting the catamount? 
How would you retell the story of James Cadwell, Alexander Crowell and the catamount?

back to