Frederic Remington (1861 - 1909) was born in Canton, New York to Clarissa Bascom Sackrider and Seth Pierrepont Remington. His father was a colonel in the Civil War. He was a newspaper editor and postmaster. Remington was related to cowboy sculpture Earl W. Bascom and Indian artist George Catlin. Remington was the only child so he received constant approval and attention. He was large and strong for his age, and was an active child, who loved to swim, hunt, camping, and ride. His father wanted him to attend West Point, but he was a poor student, particularly in math. Remington began to make sketches and drawings of cowboys and soldiers when he was still very young. His family moved to Ogdensburg when he was eleven. He attended Vermont Episcopal Institute, where his father hoped would lead him to a military career by discipline reining in his lack of focus.
Remington took his first drawing lessons at this Institute before transferring to another military school where his classmates found him not to be a military material, but rather a pleasant fellow who was a bit lazy and careless. Remington only enjoyed making silhouettes and caricatures of his classmates. For him, the best career would be journalism, with art as a sideline, and not military. Remington enrolled in the art school at Yale University. However, he found that the formal art training was less interesting compared to boxing and football. He preferred action drawing and a cartoon of a "bandaged football player" was his first published illustration for the student newspaper Yale Courant.