Karl May wrote Winnetou IV—his last Winnetou book—in 1909-1910 under the influence of his American journey in 1908. May and his wife Klara arrived by ship in New York, where they saw the Statue of Liberty, visited the Museum of Natural History and other places of interest. They continued their journey by boat up the Hudson River to Albany and further to Buffalo by railroad. In Buffalo Klara took a photo of Karl May next to the statue of the Indian chief Sa-go-ye-wat-ha.
From Buffalo they traveled to Niagara Falls, where they checked into the Clifton Hotel, which was on the Canadian side of the border. Karl May’s description of the Clifton and the breakfast there is a true and unique record he penned of his journey. The Clifton Hotel was where Karl May met with the fictional brothers, Harriman and Sebulon Enters, characters of his story.
The close-by Tuscarora Indian Reservation was visited and another photo of Karl May with a member of the tribe posing at a wigwam was taken by Klara. From Niagara Falls the Mays traveled to Lawrence, Massachusetts, to visit an old school mate of Karl’s. The scenery around Lake Kanubi, the Rock, and the Devil’s Pulpit provided May with an authentic background for scenes in his novel. Lawrence Council members organized a lecture by Karl May, which appeared in the local Evening Tribune
“World-renowned writer claims that the United States must become the great World power, which God and nature has destined it to be.”