Monday 20 September 2010

A bad bad boy…

This is the story of a french cowboy… a crazy dreamer… (1858/1896)
The frontier town of Medora was founded in 1883 by the Marquis de Mores, a French nobleman whose thirst for adventure was matched only by his intense desire to be the richest financier in the world. Blessed with aristocratic good looks and a restless, inquisitive mind, the Marquis spent his entire life in headlong, futile attempts to grasp the mantle of greatness.

The Crazy Frenchman
Bursting with enthusiasm, the Marquis arrived in the early spring of 1883 at Little Missouri, a wild, tough little railroad town on the west bank of the shallow Little Missouri River. The local citizens greeted "the crazy Frenchman" and his ideas with great skepticism and outright hostility. De Mores reacted by simply building his own town adjacent to his new meat packing plant on the east bank of the river; he named the rival town after his wife, Medora. He also acquired thousands of acres of land and built a splendid 26 room chateau overlooking the new town. As Medora grew, Little Missouri became a deserted pile of splinters.

By 1884, Medora had a population of 251, and in addition to the packing plant boasted a newspaper, a brickyard, several stores and saloons, a hotel and St. Mary's Catholic Church. Among the Marquis' neighbors was Theodore Roosevelt, the human dynamo from New York who in 1884 had moved to the Badlands after the tragic deaths of his mother and wife.
For the Marquis, however, Medora meant financial disaster. A combination of consumers' preference for corn-fed beef and competition from the Chicago meatpackers caused huge financial losses, which forced the Marquis to shut down his meat packing operation in 1886.

The boom goes bust
He and his wife returned to France in 1887, but de Mores never stopped dreaming. He proposed the building of an Indochina railroad, but could not get financial backing. He entered French politics, but was unsuccessful. He sponsored a dubious attempt to drive the British from North Africa, which led to his death at the hands of Toureg natives on the Sahara Desert.
The collapse of the de Mores business was a devastating blow to the town of Medora, but the final straw came with the severe winter of 1887-88. The cattle herds were virtually wiped out, and the ranching business never recovered. Medora became a ghost town. The boom had gone bust.

Now "Le Marquis" lives in my living room, with my best collectibles… I bought original painting and etching few years ago. I was very surprised when I learnt details of the strange guy destiny…!!!!!!!  Some good and some bad…His true name was…Antoine-Amédée-Marie-Vincent Manca de Vallombrosa…

Mores and his wife Medora
Mores the French cowboy
Mores Neighbor…Théodore Roosevelt himself
Mores at Home /original etching
Mores /original oil painting on wood


  1. will make an interesting movie "crazy French man" is how my GF calls me.

  2. Out of subject : you've got a dead alligator ! Wow !!!! J'adore !!!
    How did you start the collection about this guy ?

  3. Yes miss O'… this is a crocodile… a colombian caiman… I also collect lot of strange exotic and "dead" strange things… My father lived in Africa when he was child (6 years old to 18) ad he offered me some strange trophies (and also vintage african tophees burghhhh…)… Marguerite and French cancan's house is a sort of Hemingway's house. I found the poor caiman in Toulouse flea market in a bad condition…now he is in good condition and like alive… About Antoine Amédée marie vincent "de pied de porc", I first found the both original artworks and was just interested by their design and condition. I took informations on internet and was very surprised about what I found… I bought M. Mores portraits and was very proud to know that the same original etching was displayed in the the Medora's Mores Museum… The two portarits was sold a very nice price… a beautifull story…!!!!

  4. Could you do the same for my dead cat ? I need magician and taxidermist expert !

  5. Please could you help an ignorant American with this expression? "de pied de porc".
    I have been to the museum house in Medora and seen the Chimot sketch. I wish I could have a photo of your oil painting!