Unicorns in Oklahoma

by This Land


From Vol. 88, Iss. 1 of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly:

In 1719, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe was traveling through what is now Central Oklahoma when he spotted a bewildering sight.

His journal states that he saw a common animal, but that it had “red hair, the color and length of that of goats… and in the middle of the forehead a horn without branch, of a half-foot long.” Prior to that point, sightings of unicorns were common in the Southwest, but never documented.

Nearly a century later, in 1806, a Lt. Robert Osborn, wandering through Arkansas, spied what may now pass as a cross-breed of unicorn and jackalope when he saw “a rabbit… about the size of a common buck, having one horn in the middle of the forehead, bending downward and inwardly.”