Did Paul Revere know that polar bears existed?
November 5, 2010 6:31 AM Subscribe
Did Paul Revere know what a polar bear was?
posted by Mayor Curley to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
So my toddler daughter heard "Paul Revere" as "polar bear" and it got me thinking-- would Colonial Americans be aware of the existence of polar bears or animals like that? Polar bears live in North America, but in remote regions where few English or French speaking people would have encountered them. I have no idea how much 18th century average people would know about distant fauna.
I realize that wealthy naturalists like Thomas Jefferson would have known about their existence, but would simpler people have been aware of the existence of polar bears or, say, llamas (which are also animals from the Americas but very distant)?
How about 17th century colonials? Would John Winthrop recognize a polar bear?