A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific

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Henry Holt and Company, 1997 - History - 392 pages
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Early in the nineteenth century, the mountain men emerged as a small but distinctive group whose knowledge and experience of the Trans-Mississippi West extended the national consciousness to continental dimensions. Though Lewis and Clark blazed a narrow corridor of geographical reality in 1803-1805, the West remained largely terra incognita until trappers and traders such as Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Tom Fitzpatrick, and Jedediah Smith opened paths through the snow-choked mountain wilderness of the American West. Collectively, they came to know every stream, mountain crag, canyon cataract, waterless stretch of plain, refuge of game, and Indian hideout.

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User Review  - RandyStafford - LibraryThing

In the years between 1804 and 1847, Americans explored the Louisiana Purchase, the Rocky Mountains, took California from Mexico, and colonized Oregon. And the explorers and trappers called mountain ... Read full review

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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

Portraits of the Mountain Men from the 1820s through the Gold Rush. These were, per Utley, "colorful and eccentric men" and "bold adventurers" who headed West as the U.S. expanded in the role of ... Read full review

About the author (1997)

Robert M. Utley, former Chief Historian & Assistant Director of the National Park Service, is the author of many books & articles on the West, "Cavalier in Buckskin", also published by the University of Oklahoma Press, won the 1989 Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Book & was a Book-of-the-Month Club & History Book Club selection. Since his retirement from the federal government, he has devoted himself full time to historical research & writing.

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