In the winter of 1893, in the broken hill country of northeastern New Mexico, a drama played out between a pack of gray wolves and a Canadian wolf hunter named Ernest Thompson Seton. The wolves lost in the struggle, but in an unexpected way they prevailed by changing the spirit of the man. Seton experienced a personal transformation, putting the best of what he learned to work in the world.

Seton became one of the first great proponents of wildlife conservation. He invented the literary genre of the realistic animal story. He established important principles for the sciences of animal behavior and ecology. As a master illustrator and best-selling author he reached an international audience of millions. His passion for self-reliance ethics and outdoor youth education led him to co-found the worldwide Boy Scout movement.

Seton’s insights sparked a revolution in our perceptions of animals and wild nature, provided a model for environmentalism, and inspired generations of youth and adults to take to the outdoors for recreation, adventure, and solace.

The Seton Legacy Project promotes and makes known the life work of conservationist and educator Ernest Thompson Seton through exhibitions, publications and public presentations. The Academy for the Love of Learning has established the Seton Gallery and Archives for the display and study of Seton’s art, writings and philosophy. 

Bison sculpture by Seton

You are cordially invited to explore the history and meaning of Seton’s work through this series of essays and through programs at Seton Castle and the Seton Gallery. My book, Ernest Thompson Seton, the Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist (Gibbs Smith, 2010) is available through online booksellers or your local book retailer. 

Please visit the Academy for the Love of Learning to find out more about our programs.

2019 Update

Portions of this site began life on a different platform in 2012. Years later, new material on Seton is being regularly added.

Featured image: Ernest Thompson Seton, 1890, Library and Archives Canada

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