Thursday, April 8, 2021


TL;DR -- Borders were fluid for a while in the western part of the U.S. But, that didn't keep the mountain men from their work. The fur companies pulled the guys together to trade. The characters? Some are well known, such as Jedediah Strong Smith whom we picked due to his being a northern New Englander (his family). But, there are many more to consider. 


Rendezvous sites
Our last post looked at countries involved in the west of what became the U.S. as borders were fluid for quite some time. We have mentioned a few times that we want to look at the early activity out west in relation to what was happening back east. As well, we will look at the families of those who were the early travelers. And, for early times, we are talking post the Louisiana Purchase and before the massive movement started two decades before the Civil War. Of course, after that early time, there will be several of points of history to consider with respect to the middle of the country. 

The Fur Trade site has an interesting collection of photos and text related to the subject. The site's owner (O.N. Eddins) lives and works (Veterinarian) in Wyoming and has been active participant in historical research related to the area.  Prior to the establishment of the Rendezvous, trappers took their pelts back to St. Louis. This was facilitated by the Missouri River. However, it was a shorter trek to the Oregon coast. There were 15 years with a Rendezvous. By 1840, the traffic both to Oregon and to Santa Fe by the Trails was becoming regular. 

Beaver, which supplied the prime pelt, became rare due to too much harvesting. As well, the fashion tastes in London changed. 

Travels of
Jedediah Strong Smith

Remarks: Modified: 04/23/2021

04/09/2021 -- The free-spirited ones of the early west were from several places. For those from the U.S. (this is post the Louisiana Purchase, though boundaries were still being settled), many were from the south. We're looking for New England connections (Smith, Trask, Wyeth, and a few more). There were a few from the middle region, like PA. The folks from New France were out there earlier than the rest. Then, we had lots of guys coming in from Europe. So, the American West? There is no other counterpart on the planet, and that whole experience can use further attention. ... Added the TL;DR line. 

04/23/2021 -- After being reminded via comment, we started a series of posts related to the interests of the American Indian. 



  2. Thank you for the reminder. Going forward, we will point to American Indian interests with respect to our relooks at the past 400 years.