1837 Sketchbook

For enthusiasts of the western fur trade, there are precious few articles of clothing and personal gear of the trappers.  Accurate re-creation of the period becomes difficult, especially since late 19th and early 20th century artists greatly stereotyped the image of the “mountain man.”

Fortunately, there was an able and talented artist who was there – Alfred Jacob Miller.

Miller was a classically trained artist. Upon being hired by William Drummand Stewart, A Scottish Nobleman. Miller captured Stewart’s journey visually. As a result it was a literal grand tour of the Western fur trade including an American Fur Company caravan.  Miller was the only artist known to have sketched and painted a rendezvous and pre-1840 mountaineers.

The purpose of this sketchbook is to bring together the most usable information about the clothing and accoutrements of the original mountaineers.

2023 Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal, Volume 17

Killing Competition with Kindness: Jedediah Smith, George Simpson, and the Aftermath of the Umpqua Massacre
by Thomas H. Holloway

In 1828, Jedediah Smith arrived at Fort Vancouver, the regional headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company on the Columbia River, to report that Indians had attacked his camp on the Umpqua River. Everything of value was gone and most of his men were dead. Why did the Hudson’s Bay Company, a competitor, help him?

Jedediah Smith’s Search for Melish’s River
by Sheri Wysong

To some historians, Jedediah Smith’s actions during his southwest expeditions of 1826-28 made little sense. This article discusses geography, contemporary geopolitics and cartography to hypothesize Smith’s real goals.

Mountain Men and Shoshone: Two Cultures Intersect During the Fur Trade
by Jim Hardee

Using period dairies and writings of trappers, the author investigates ways in which the values and customs of mountain men and Shoshone Indians overlapped and, at least from the mountain man’s point of view, both societies seem to have found mutual benefits from working together.

Ambush in the Coriacan Defile: Unlocking the Secrets of a Fur Trade Mystery
by George Capps

Sometime in the 1830s or 1840s, Indian raiders ambushed a Hudson’s Bay Company pack train in today’s O’Keefe Canyon, outside of Missoula, Montana. During the attack, a young Hawaiian employee was slain. This article looks at the cross-cultural connections of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific maritime fur trade enterprises that were influenced by Polynesian, English, Russian, and Alaskan Native peoples and their languages.

“Destroying the Pious Monster”: The Collapse of the US Indian Factory System
by James C. Auld

Decades before the rendezvous era, the US government had created a federal program to control trade with indigenous people living throughout the wilderness of America’s new boundaries. This article looks at the role Ramsay Crooks played in the demise of the US government’s Indian factory system to create opportunities for private enterprise.

148 Pages

Sublette County Historical Society, 2023

A Collector’s Guide to the Savage 99 Rifle

Discover the ultimate guide to the illustrious Savage 99 family of centerfire rifles in this comprehensive and photo-driven masterpiece.

From the very inception to the final production, this groundbreaking book explores every facet of the Savage 99 series, encompassing even the elusive Montreal Home Guard musket used during WWI. Captivating readers with more than 250 vivid color images, it becomes the first-ever publication solely focused on the Model 99’s visual portrayal. Delve into the minutiae of each model, unearthing their unique variations while drawing illuminating comparisons among similar models. Within its pages, myths, misconceptions, and catalog inaccuracies are effectively dispelled, ensuring an accurate and enlightening account of the Savage 99 legacy. For the discerning collector and enthusiast, the book reveals complete production figures meticulously arranged by serial number and year.

Beyond the ordinary, the narrative indulges readers with enthralling insights into special features and the realm of factory-engraved rifles. Notably, it dedicates extensive coverage to the splendid artistry of Enoc Tue, a master engraver of the early 20th century. Delight in the detailed exposition of the distinguished 99K and the revered PE and DE models, as well as the intriguing world of commemorative editions.

ISBN – 978-0-7643-5026-9

160 Pages

Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2016

A Lady’s Life in the Rockies

Women were scarce enough in the West of the late nineteenth century, and a middle-aged English lady traveling alone, by horseback, was a real phenomenon. It was during the autumn and early winter of 1873 that Isabella Bird made the extended tour of the Rocky Mountain area of Colorado, when she was on her way back to England from the Sandwich Islands. What she called “no region for tourists and women” is today a popular resort.

The that make up the volume were first published in 1879. They tell of magnificent, unspoiled landscapes and abundant wildlife, of encounters with rattlesnakes, wolves, pumas and grizzly bears, and her reactions to the volatile passions of the miners and pioneer settlers.

ISBN – 978-0-8061-1328-9

256 Pages

University of Oklahoma Press, 1960

A Majority of Scoundrels

By Don Berry
6″ x 9″ Paperback
432 Pages
Oregon State University Press, 2006 Reprint
ISBN 0870710893

An Informal History of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company

An invigorating narrative captures the peak years (1822-1834) of the fur trade in the Mountain West, the period in which the the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Company grew to be “the greatest name in the mountains.”

This lively prose brings to life the principle trappers – colorful figures including Jim Bridger, Hugh Glass, James Beckwourth, Joe Meek, Jed Smith, and many more. Using their journals, business records, and other sources, Berry laces his back-country narrative with an analysis of the power struggle between St. Louis businessmen who controlled the trade and the trappers.

A Name of Her Own

During the fur-trapping era of the early 1800’s, with two rambunctious young sons to raise, Marie Dorion refuses to be left behind in St. Louis when her husband heads west. Faced with hostile landscapes, a untried expedition leader, and her volatile husband, Marie finds that the daring act she hoped would bind her family together may in the end tear them apart.

History records that on the journey, Marie meets the famous Lewis and Clark interpreter, Sacajawea, who-like Marie-is pregnant, married to a mixed-blood man of French Canadian and Indian descent, and raising a son in a white world. Together, the women forge a friendship that will strengthen and uphold Marie long after they part, even as she fights for her children’s very survival. With courage and faith that can only be fueled by a mother’s love, she endures. Her story reminds us that women are bound together in history, now and forever.

ISBN – 978-1-57856-499-6

388 Pages

WaterBrook Press, 2002

A Newer World

Between 1842 and 1854 John C. Fremont, renowned as the nineteenth century’s greatest explorer, and Kit Carson, the legendary scout and Indian fighter, boldly ventured into untamed territory to fulfill America’s “manifest destiny.” Drawing on little-known primary sources, as well as his own travels through the lands Fremont and Carson explored, David Roberts re-creates their expeditions, second in significance only to those of Lewis and Clark.  A Newer World is a harrowing narrative of hardship and adventure and a poignant reminder of the cultural tragedy that westward expansion inflicted on the Native American.

ISBN – 978-0-684-87021-2

320 Pages

A Touchstone Book, 2000

A Pronghorn Year

“In A Pronghorn Year, Dick Kettlewell has condensed many years of observation and photography to create a book of singular insight into the biology and behavior of a treasured American icon. This thoroughly researched, nicely written, and beautifully photographed book will delight and enlighten those who love nature and who photograph wildlife, and particularly those lucky enough to have encountered pronghorn on the open lands of the American West. Most important, the book serves as a resource for those who seek to understand and protect the important place pronghorn occupy in the ecological landscape.” – George D. Lepp, Field Editor Outdoor Photographer Magazine

ISBN – 978-1-56037-601-9

80 Pages

Farcountry Press, 2014

A Taste of Cowboy

Whether he’s beating Bobby Flay at chicken-fried steak on the Food Network, catering for a barbecue, bar mitzvah, or wedding, or cooking for cowboys in the middle of nowhere, Kent Rollins makes comfort food that satisfies. This gifted cook, TV contestant, and storyteller takes us into his frontier world with simple food anyone can do.

A cowboy’s day starts early and ends late. Kent offers labor-saving breakfasts like Egg Bowls with Smoked Cream Sauce. For lunch or dinner, there’s 20-minute Green Pepper Frito Pie, hands-off, four-ingredient Sweet Heat Chopped Barbecue Sandwiches, or mild and smoky Roasted Bean-Stuffed Poblano Peppers. He even parts with his prized recipe for Bread Pudding with Whisky Cream Sauce. (The secret to its lightness? Hamburger buns.) Kent gets creative with ingredients on everyone’s shelves, using lime soda to caramelize Sparkling Taters and balsamic vinegar to coax the sweetness out of Strawberry Pie.

With stunning photos of the American West and Kent’s lively tales and poetry, A Taste of Cowboy is a must-have for everyone who loves good, honest food and wants a glimpse of a vanishing way of life.

ISBN – 978-0-544-27500-3

248 Pages

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015

A Taste of Wyoming

A Taste of Wyoming: Favorite Recipes from the Cowboy State is a divine blend of Wyoming’s rich culinary heritage and contemporary cuisine.  This exquisite cookbook features sophisticated interpretations of Western dishes from Wyoming’s finest restaurants, lodges, and bed-and-breakfasts–as well as classic Cowboy State favorites.

ISBN – 978-1-56037-458-9

126 Pages

Farcountry Press, 2008

Across The Wide Missouri

Across The Wide Missouri tells the compelling story of the climax and decline of the Rocky Mountain fur trade during the 1830’s.

ISBN – 978-0-395-92497-6

455 Pages

Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998

After Lewis & Clark

After Lewis & Clark  highlights more than sixty paintings, drawings, and prints in the collection of  one of America’s finest museums of American art, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This richly illustrated book presents and places in thematic and historic context many of the priceless portraits, striking scenes, and grand landscapes inspired during the sixty-five years after the Corps of Discovery completed its epic journey.

ISBN – 978-0-8061-9959-8

96 Pages

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Oklahoma, 2006

After Lewis & Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific

In 1807, a year Lewis and Clark returned from the shores of the Pacific, groups of trappers and hunters began to drift West to tap the rich stocks of beaver and to trade with the Native nations. Colorful and eccentric, bold and adventurous, mountain men such as John Colter, George Drouollard, Hugh Glass, Andrew Henry, and Kit Carson found individual freedom and financial reward in pursuit of pelts. Their knowledge of the country and its inhabitants served the first mapmakers, the army, and the streams of emigrants moving West in ever-greater numbers.

ISBN – 978-0-8032-9564-3

392 Pages

University of Nebraska Press, 1997

All in a Day’s Ride

Just as he did in his two earlier narrative histories, Hard and Noble Lives and The State of Equality in the Equality State, Paul Jensen again brings history and its characters to life, this time along Horse Creek, near Daniel, Wyoming. From the mountain men of the 1830’s to the homesteaders of the twentieth century, Horse Creek served as the crossroads of Western exploration and expansion. The stickers, who beat the odds by surviving and succeeding, built their ranches and the surrounding communities. Paul and his family live along Horse Creek. He is committed to its history and preservation.

ISBN – 978-1-932636-82-6

190 Pages

Prong Horn Press, 2011

All Together in One Place

For Madison “Mazy” Bacon, a young wife living in southern Wisconsin, the future appears every bit as promising as it is reassuringly predictable. A loving marriage, a well organized home, the pleasure of planting an early spring garden, these are the carefully tended dreams that sustain her heart and nourish her soul.

But when her husband of two years sells the homestead and informs her that they are heading west, Mazy’s life is ripped down the middle like a poorly mended sheet forgotten in a midwestern storm. Her love is tried, her boundaries stretched, and the fabric of her faith tested. At the same time, she and eleven extraordinary women are pulled toward an un-certain destiny, one that binds them together through reluctance and longing and into acceptance and renewal.

ISBN – 978-1-5786-232-9

406 Pages

Waterbrook Press, 2000

Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark

Traces the Lewis and Clark Expedition from its very beginnings at Monticello and the White House, through Pennsylvania, down the Ohio River, up the Mississippi to Missouri River — on to the Pacific Ocean, and back.

Detailed maps show the Corps of Discovery’s path and today’s routes.

ISBN – 978-1-56037-803-7

120 Pages

Farcountry Press, 2022