By James H. Maguire, Peter Wild, Donald A. Barclay
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Additional info for A Rendezvous Reader: Tall, Tangled, and True Tales of the Mountain Men 1805-1850
To summarize De Voto's chronology, events begin with the Lewis and Clark expedition, which from 1804 to 1806 crossed the West to the mouth of the Columbia and then returned. Even as the expedition approached the settlements in Missouri, one of the men with Lewis and Clark, John Colter, headed back to the mountains with a party of trappers. A year later, in 1807, Manuel Lisa hired Colter and others to build a fur-trading fort at the mouth of the Big Horn River. , and Andrew Henry to found the Missouri Fur Company.
Often, as in the next selection by traveler and mountain man Anderson, accounts that might be tall tales end up mixed in with a hodgepodge of different subjects. August 27, 1834and WednesdayWe are encamped quite early in the day, at a beautiful grove of mountain ashI shall call it the ash-grove springThis spot is on the south Side of the Platte in a deep cove, & bounded to the East & West by high perpendicular hills and immediately above the cedar bluffThe Pawnees have now & then, used this as a wintering placeTo morrow we shall give general license to all disposed, to hunt the sullen buffalothen we shall wend our way to sweet home August 28, 1834Thursday.
If at any time you feel you must try to unweave the facts from the fantasy, the bibliography includes many first-rate histories of the fur trade. Of these histories, the general reader cannot do better than Bernard De Voto's Across the Wide Missouri (1947). " This listing of dates and events is helpful for understanding the economic rhythms of the mountain fur trade, which, like any modern business, was marked by the creation of new companies; the merger, sale, or bankruptcy of old ones; and the activities of individual entrepreneurs (commonly known in the fur trade as "free trappers").
A Rendezvous Reader: Tall, Tangled, and True Tales of the Mountain Men 1805-1850 by James H. Maguire, Peter Wild, Donald A. Barclay