Jim Bridger - Mountain Man

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In the last years of his life, his health failed and after he gradually went blind. He died on July 17, near Kansas City, Missouri.

Bighorn Canyon Ranger to Present Program on Mountain Man Legend Jim Bridger

During his lifetime he was a hunter, trapper, trader, Indian fighter, and guide, and one of only a few trJames Bridger was one of the greatest frontiersmen of Utah and American history. During his lifetime he was a hunter, trapper, trader, Indian fighter, and guide, and one of only a few trappers to At the age of 17, he was the youngest Fort Bridger Photos United States History. The Killing of Crazy Horse.

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The Custer Fight; Capt. Captain Frederick W. Indian Depredations in Texas. At 13 he became a black-smith's apprentice and apparently learned how to handle machinery, horses, and guns. In March Bridger started his frontier life by joining the party of trappers being organized at St.

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Louis by William H. That year the men traveled up the Missouri to trap along its tributaries in the Rocky Mountains. For the next 20 years Bridger and other mountain men roamed throughout the western third of the United States. Historians are unsure if Bridger was alone when he found the lake but credit him with first reporting it. During his years in the West, Bridger trapped for several leading fur companies and in became one of five partners in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.

By the early s, however, he realized that the supply of furs was nearly exhausted, and with Louis Vasquez he established Ft. Built on the Green River in south-western Wyoming, this post became a major way station on the Oregon and California trails, a military fort, and a Pony Express station. In the Mormons drove Bridger and his partner away and confiscated their property because they purportedly had provided guns and anti-Mormon information to the Native Americans.

Bridger's career as a guide spanned from to During this time he led Capt. Howard Stansbury to Utah, Col. Albert S.

Johnston during the so-called Mormon War, and Capt. William Raynolds to the Yellowstone. In he led Capt. Berthoud and his survey party west from Denver through the mountains to Salt Lake City , and for the next several years he guided army units sent west to guard overland mail. Between and he guided several expeditions and survey parties over the Bozeman, or Powder River, Trail.

In he retired to his farm in Missouri, where he died on July 17, During his years on the frontier Bridger had been married three times to Native American women. In he married the daughter of a Flathead chief. When she died, he acquired a Ute wife, and after her death he wed the daughter of a Shoshone chief. Described as tall and muscular by his contemporaries, Bridger was considered shrewd, honest, and brave. His life exemplifies the achievements of a leading frontiersman of the midth century.

The best study of Bridger's career is J. This includes a thorough discussion of his actions and an evaluation of the many folktales surrounding his life. An earlier account is Grenville M. Dodge, Biographical Sketch of James Bridger , supposedly based on stories Bridger told to the author. Dale L. Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West , examines many of the same people and events from a different perspective and provides additional insight into Bridger's life and contributions.

James Bridger , —81, American fur trader, one of the most celebrated of the mountain men , b. He was working as a blacksmith in St. Louis when he joined the Missouri River expedition of William H. Ashley in From that time until the fur trade declined in the s he was a trader and trapper in the mountains, becoming familiar with most of the country N of Spanish New Mexico and E of California. He was associated with Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedediah Smith in many of their journeys, and he is generally credited with being the first white man to see Great Salt Lake.

They later were forced by the Mormons to give up the post.