About “The Midnight Visitor”


The Midnight Visitor

The Huntington (used by permission)

The Midnight Visitor, version 3


The Midnight Visitor

The Midnight Visitor, version 4

The welcoming pages of this web site show two versions of “The Midnight Visitor,” both depicting a scene Bruff described in his journal on the April 1, 1850. (Bruff often drew more than one version of a drawing, as explained on the “Different Versions” page.)

“The Midnight Visitor” drawings illustrate a visit by a grizzly bear when he was in camp in the Sierra Nevada.

As Bruff depicted in these drawings, grizzly bears were a real threat at his winter camp, and Bruff was prepared to defend himself against an attack.



The Beinecke

Bruff's dog, named “Nevada,” is shown in the “Midnight Visitor” drawings, in the opening of the tent. Nevada was a good sentinel but, wisely, knew enough not to get too close to bears and wolves.

Bruff spent 169 days (two weeks shy of half a year) in the Sierra Nevada over the winter of 1849-1850. For more about Bruff's stay in his “winter camp,” click here.