The American Fur Trade of the Far West: A History of the Pioneer Trading Posts and Early Fur Companies of the Missouri Valley and the Rocky Mountains and the Overland Commerce with Santa Fe ... (Google eBook)

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F.P. Harper, 1901 - Frontier and pioneer life - 1029 pages
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Page 236 - The sloop-of-war arrived, it is true; but as, in the case I suppose, she would have found nothing, she would have left, after setting fire to our deserted houses. None of their boats would have dared follow us, even if the Indians had betrayed to them our lurking-place.
Page 67 - United States; and have sought in its amusements and its society a substitute for those high excitements which have attached me so strongly to Prairie life. Yet I am almost ashamed to confess that scarcely a day passes without my experiencing a pang of regret that I am not now roving at large upon those western plains. Nor do I find my taste peculiar; for I have hardly known a man, who has ever become familiar with the kind of life which I have led for so many years, that has not relinquished it...
Page 262 - To enterprising young men. The subscriber wishes to engage one hundred young men to ascend the Missouri river to its source, there to be employed for one, two, or three years.
Page 460 - Smet, who was born in Belgium, the home of good roads, pronounced the Oregon Trail one of the finest highways in the world. At the proper season of the year this was undoubtedly true. Before the prairies became too dry, the natural turf formed the best roadway for horses to travel on that has probably ever been known. It was amply hard to sustain traffic, yet soft enough to be easier to the feet than even the most perfect asphalt pavement. Over such roads, winding ribbon-like through the verdant...
Page 461 - But not so when the prairies became dry and parched, the road filled with stifling dust, the stream-beds mere dry ravines, or carrying only alkaline water which could not be used, the game all gone to more hospitable sections, and the summer sun pouring down its heat with torrid intensity. It was then that the Trail became a highway of desolation, strewn with abandoned property, the skeletons of horses, mules, and oxen, and, alas! too often, with freshly made mounds and headboards that told the pitiful...
Page 12 - These views are substantially founded upon the conviction, that it is the true policy and earnest desire of the Government to draw its savage neighbors within the pale of civilization. If I am mistaken in this point if the primary object of the Government is to extinguish the Indian title, and settle their lands as rapidly as possible, then commerce with them ought to be entirely abandoned to individual enterprise, and without regulation.
Page 81 - ... would find it far easier, Jefferson thought, to send the pelts down the river to American buyers. Both objects were accomplished. Lewis and Clark, ascending the Missouri, crossing the Rockies, and descending the Columbia to the Pacific, accomplished an epic bit of exploration', which has been called "incomparably the most perfect achievement of its kind in the history of the world.
Page 462 - Bridger answered him only with a look of contemptuous amazement. It may be easily imagined how great an impression the sight of this road must have made upon the minds of the Indians. Father DeSmet has recorded some interesting observations upon this point. In 1851 he traveled in company with a large number of Indians from the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers to Fort Laramie, where a great council was held in that year to form treaties with the several tribes. Most of these Indians had not been in...
Page 154 - Mandans, bringing me very unpleasant news the flower of my business is gone. My Mountaineers have been defeated, and the chiefs of the party both slain...
Page 70 - No court or jury is called to adjudicate upon his disputes or his abuses, save his own conscience ; and no powers are invoked to redress them, save those with which the God of Nature has endowed him.

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