Journal of a Trapper in the Rocky Mountains Between 1834 and 1843
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In 1830, 16-year-old Osborne Russell left his Maine farm and ran away to sea. He didn't like it. He ended up joining an expedition headed to Oregon by way of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way he acquired the skills necessary for survival in the mountains. He also learned the Snake language, hunted buffalo, and trapped beaver, looked for new trails west, and kept a journal that forms the basis of this vigorously authentic book. The descriptions are so accurate that contemporary readers are using the book to retrace Russell's footsteps!
treated our men in a hospitable manner-After remaining all night with them three of the Indians accompanied our hunters to the Fort: From these we gathered (thro. the Mullatto who could speak a little of their lan69. A cold fit, accompanied by shivering, which precedes a fever. In Russell's time the term “ague” was used to designate several intermittent fevers, particularly malaria. 70. The Snake or Shoshone Indians are an important tribe of the linguistic group which, in Russell's day, roamed
thence to a plain 18 We did not raise camp and about noon some Flathead Indians arrived and told us their village was on a branch of the Jefferson called 114.See note 109. 115.The Ruby River in Madison County, Montana. This stream-of-many-names was called the 'Philanthropy” by Lewis and Clark, while the trappers referred to it sometimes by that name and sometimes as the “Stinkingwater.” Both names disappeared with the fur trade era, and the maps accompanying the Pacific Railroad Surveys use the
source of Atlantic and Pacific Creeks. 131.This is the valley of the Upper Yellowstone River – an area which has become known as the “Thorofare.” JOURNAL OF A TRAPPER — 85 plain which extends along the Northern extremity of the Lake.132 This valley is interspersed with scattering groves of tall pines forming shady retreats for the numerous Elk and Deer during the heat of the day. The Lake is about 100 Mls. in circumference bordered on the East by high ranges of Mountains whose spurs terminate
hue. On the west rises the Wind River range of Mountains abruptly from the smooth rolling hills until crowned with Snow above the Clouds On the East stretches away the Great Wind River plain and terminates at a low range of Mountains rising between Wind and Powder Rivers Buffaloe Elk and Sheep are abundant. Beds of Iron and Coal are frequently found in this part of the country June 5th We left the Oil Spring and took over a point of Mountain about 15 mls SW and encamped on a small spring branch
no thawing weather until the 18th of Mrch. when it began to rain and continued 4 dys and nights which drove the snow nearly all from the plains. Mch. 25 I started in company with Alfred Shutes my old Comrade from Vermont to go to the Salt Lake and pass the Spring hunting water fowls eggs and Beaver. We left the Fort and travelled in a South direction to the mountain about 30 Mls. The next day we travelled South about 15 Mls thro. a low defile and the day following we crossed the divide and fell