Old Bill Williams, Mountain Man

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University of Oklahoma Press, 1962 - Biography & Autobiography - 234 pages
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Born during the American Revolution, Williams was a child of the early frontier. In his young manhood he became an itinerant preacher and appointed himself a missionary to the Osages, who soon converted him to their lifeway. The Osage girl he married died after bearing his two daughters. From this point on, Old Bill forsook civilization and made the wilderness his home. He was a master trapper and so identified himself in signing his name. He was one of the guides of the Sibley survey of the Santa Fe Trail in 1825 and some twenty years later was a guide with two different Fremont expeditions.

 

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Contents

Mountain Men
3
A North Carolina Family
21
Early Life in Missouri
27
Preacher and Missionary
37
With the Osage Indians
47
Changes in the Indian Trade
57
The First Santa Fe Survey
69
As a Mountain Man
78
Passing of the Fur Trade
118
Fur Trading with the Indians
139
Trapping and Indian Fighting
151
The Fremont Expedition of 1848
167
Failure Retreat and Starvation
181
The End and Vindication
197
Bibliography
212
Index
225

Bill Williams Master Trapper
90
Piracy on Land
100

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About the author (1962)

Old Bill's biographer, Alpheus H. Favour , was a lawyer who deserted New York for Arizona in 1917. Except for a monograph on Arizona state laws he wrote only this on book, but in it Old Bill emerges clothed with color and authority. In the years since its first publication in 1936 it has touched a book's best destiny, that of exerting a special and lasting influence.

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