Number of page: 260
Publisher: W. T. Hamilton, 2016
In writing this book the author had only one end in view, that of relating in a simple way his experiences as a mountaineer. In these days, when such experiences are fast becoming a thing of the past, the story is of special interest.
1E7LDAAAQBAJMy Sixty Years on the Plains: Trapping, Trading, and Indian Fighting (Illustrated)
Beyond the Old Frontier: Adventures of Indian-Fighters, Hunters, and Fur-Traders
One of the first commercial adventurers to the Columbia River and one of the first men engaged by John Jacob Astor for his far western fur trading expeditions was Alexander Ross a Scotchman who came to Canada in early life spent more than forty four years in the fur trade and finally died in the Red River settlement in 1856 Unlike most fur traders he had the energy and the interest in the later years of his life to set down an account of what he had seen and done during those early years of anxiety hard work and success His story is not an arm chair narrative derived from hearsay tales but the result of practical experience on the spot During most of the time while engaged in trading with the savage tribes west of the Rocky Mountains he was a leader and the success or failure of his expeditions often the lives of his men and himself depended on what he thought did and said He was a man of high courage unfailing energy and close observation His was serious work yet he possessed some sense of humor which however he allows to appear only now and then in his books As a close observer stationed in the midst of things and admirably acquainted with conditions he saw the blunders made by Mr Astor and criticised them freely yet he was always loyal to his chief and speaks with apparent contempt of those other men of the north hired by Mr Astor for their great experience in the fur trade who when the War of 1812 broke out and the Northwesters descended on Astoria seemed glad to desert their employer and to renew their allegiance to the company that they had left for Astor s higher pay and greater privileges
On March 20 1822 the Missouri Republican published a notice addressed to enterprising young men in the St Louise area The subscriber it said wishes to engage one hundred young men to ascend the Missouri River to its source there to be employed for one two or three years For particulars enquire of Major Andrew Henry or of the subscriber near St Louise The subscriber was General William H Ashley and among the enterprising young men who embarked with Major Henry less than a month later was eighteen year old James Bridger former blacksmith s apprentice So began the Ashley Henry fur empire and the long colorful career of Jim Bridger In the years that followed Jim Bridger became a master mountain man an expert trapper and a guide without equal He came to know the Rocky Mountain region and its inhabitants as a farmer knows his fields and flocks Indeed J Cecil Alter tells us he was among the first white men to use the Indian trail over South Pass he was first to taste the waters of the Great Salt lake first to report a two ocean stream foremost in describing the Yellowstone Park phenomena and the only man to run the Big Horn River rapid on a raft and he originally selected the Crow Creek Sherman Dale Creek route the Laramie Mountains and Bridger s Pass over the Continental Divide which were adopted by the Union pacific Railroad Such knowledge together with extraordinary skill and uncanny luck preserved Jim Bridger in a country where nearly half of his mountain companions met violent death It also gave rise to a brood of impossible tales about Old Gabe and his adventures tales which he himself may unwittingly have helped along with his droll humor Based on Mr Alter s original biography of 1925 a facsimile edition of which with addenda appeared in 1950 and a wealth of new facts gleaned from many years of careful research Jim Bridger is the authentic story of the Old Scout s life Only those events in which Bridger took part are included improbable and uncorroborated stories however interesting have been omitted