Early American Views on Lacrosse


George Catlin, an artist in nineteenth-century America, share his observations of early lacrosse in his painting titled, Ball-play.

The Game of La Crosse manuscript.png

"The Game of La Cross", manuscript by John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt (1857-1937), Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

In his writing in the late nineteenth century, John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt compared what he called "the game of the Cross" to tennis because the lacing of lacrosse sticks reminded him of tennis racquets. He described a game between two nations composed of equal numbers of men competing with "bats," or sticks. Hewitt explained that the ball used was made of wood and approximately the size of a turkey egg. He recounted that the game was played on an open plain with two goals at the ends. 

Native Americans and Lacrosse
Early American views on Lacrosse