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.

2024 Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal, Volume 18

2024 Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal, Volume 18

Three Early J. & S. Hawken Presentation Rifles
by Nathan E. Bender, Robert A. Tetro, and Daniel W. Phariss
The story of a trio of remarkable weapons that helped define the craft of these famous
gun makers.

Packing Fur: A Pressing Matter
by Jim Hardee
The preparation of beaver hides for transportation to fur markets included compacting
bulky stacks into more manageable bales.

Who’s Buried in Pinckney’s Tomb? The Two Deaths of Pinckney Sublette
by Carol Kuhn
The struggle to settle elder brother William Sublette’s estate drags Pinckney into the
middle of a decades-long legal battle to determine if he was the last survivor, whose
heirs stand to make millions.

The Cost of a Hide Lodge
by Bradley C. Bailey
This article breaks down the cost to purchase a tipi during the fur trade period, in terms
of dollars, as well as trade goods.

Chief’s Coats, Capotes, and Calico: Clothing Traded at Fort Hall – 1834 to 1837
by Clay J. Landry
This article describes the operation of the Fort Hall tailor shop, an innovative enterprise
of the entrepreneurial Nathaniel Wyeth.

Governor Simpson and the HBC Snake River Brigades: 1818 to 1846
by John C. Jackson
A critical review of how Hudson’s Bay Company Governor George Simpson micro-
managed trapping brigades in the Pacific Northwest and Snake River Country.

Three Worlds Meet, Interpreting the 1837 Rendezvous with Alfred Jacob Miller: From
Pencil Sketches to Live Theatrical Performances
By James C. Auld

Founded in 2011, Three Worlds Meet was eventually staged in Wyoming, Scotland and
Ireland. It used artwork by Alfred Jacob Miller in tableaux vivant format to demonstrate
the collaborations of trappers, Native Americans, and higher-class Euro-Americans at
rendezvous and throughout the mountains.

In Memoriam: Fred R. Gowans (1936-2023)
by Jay H. Buckley

23: The Place We Call Home

Sublette County, Wyoming, is colloquially known as “God’s Country.” It is also thought of as that place on the far side of the Wind River Mountains. To go somewhere, you first have to start by going in the opposite direction. It is remote and sometimes relegated to simply a place en route to the larger city of Jackson. However, its remote nature blesses it with a tremendous variety of flora and fauna, many of which are beautiful in their untouched nature.

Discovered by Native Americans, they regarded it as a place of abundant wildlife and clean water which was a wonderful place to summer. Then came the mountain men, fur trappers and goods traders, who held six of their famous annual supply-trading Rocky Mountain Rendezvous gatherings in Sublette County. The area remains a truly special place with long winters, non-existent springs, but summers and falls that bless the senses. The author endeavors to capture and showcase the raw beauty of the place he calls home.

ISBN – 978-1-6629-3721-7

206 Pages

Gatekeeper Press, 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 Great Divide

Setting out in 1812 on the return trip from establishing John Jacob Astor’s fur trading post at Astoria on the Oregon Coast, Robert Stuart and six companions traveled from west to east for more than 3,000 grueling miles by canoe, horseback, and ultimately by foot, following the mountains south until they came upon the one gap in the 3,000-mile-long Rocky Mountain chain that was passable by wagon.
Situated in southwest Wyoming between the southern extremes of the Wind River Range and the Antelope Hills, South Pass was a direct route with access to water leading from the Missouri River to the Rockies. Stuart and his traveling party were the first white men to traverse what would become the gateway to the Far West and the Oregon Trail. In the decades to come, an estimated 300,000 emigrants followed the corridor Stuart blazed on their way to the fertile farmlands of the Willamette Valley and the goldfields of California.

ISBN – 978-1-4767-3003-5

307 Pages

Free Press, 2003

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

Adventures of a Mountain Man: The Narrative of Zenas Leonard

“Strong mental faculties and a vigorous constitution” were among the attributes of Zenas Leonard, according to the publisher of the 1839 edition of this book, which the Bison Books edition reproduces. In the spring of 1830, Leonard, a native of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, “ventured to embark in an expedition across the Rocky Mountains, in the capacity of clerk to the company. The last letter received by his parents, left him at the extreme white settlement [Independence, Missouri], where they were busily occupied in making preparations for the expedition to the mountains—from whence he promised to write at short intervals; but one misfortune after another happening to the company, he was deprived of all sources of communication—so that no tidings were received of him until he unexpectedly returned to the scenes of his childhood, to the house of his father, in the fall of 1835—after an absence of 5 years and 6 months!”

ISBN – 978-0-8032-7903-2

274 Pages

University of Nebraska Press, 1978

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