Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  Author unknown

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Author unknown
QUOTATION: I’ve seen the elephant, and I’ve heard the owl, and I’ve been to the other side of the mountain.
ATTRIBUTION: Author unknown. “‘Seeing the elephant,’ though it has pre– and post–gold rush currency, was an immensely popular expression among the overlanders [those journeying in covered wagons to Oregon and California] … connoting, in the main, experiencing hardship and difficulty and somehow surviving. Emigrant diaries and letters are filled with humorous references to that ubiquitous animal.”—John D. Unruh, Jr., The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840–60, chapter 4, p. 443, note 22 (1979).
SUBJECTS: Experience