A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific
Henry Holt and Company
, 1997 - History
- 392 pages
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.