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On the Old North Trail

by Frank C. McCarthy
Western Artist Estate
73" x 22" inches
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Frame Size: 83" x 32" inches

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In the long shadows of breaking daylight, a Blackfoot Indian raiding party rides with purpose and bears the markings of war in what is our largest-ever Frank McCarthy Fine Art Edition. At over 6 feet in length, this remarkable work of art from the Dean of Western Action will electrify any room in which it hangs.

The Blackfeet were enemies of the Crow and Sioux on the Great Plains and of the Shoshone in the mountains to their west and of the Cree to their north. Not only were they fierce in defense of their Canadian border homeland but their raiding parties ranged out along the Old North Trail from Alberta, Canada south to Mexico. Raiders of various tribes followed it, stealing horses and food from white settlers and other tribes.

Blackfoot war parties would ride hundreds of miles on these raids. They were hailed as heroes by their own tribe and vilified by their victims. The single greatest blow to Blackfoot power in the West came not from combat but from disease. In the mid-1800s, more than 6,000 Blackfoot natives died of smallpox from a single instance of exposure to an infected white person. This ended the Blackfoot raider dominance of the Great Plains.