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Not long before he died, in 1926, the great Western artist, Charles Russell, was invited to speak at a Montana Booster Club meeting. But when he was introduced as a “pioneer,” Russell, shaking with anger, said this to his crowd of admirers…

“In my book, a pioneer is a man who comes to a virgin country, traps off all the fur, kills off all the wild meat, cuts down all the trees, grazes off all the grass, plows the roots up and strings ten million miles of barbed wire. A pioneer destroys things and calls it civilization. I wish to God that this country was just like it was when I first saw it, and that none of you folks were here at all!”


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