Firearms, Traps, & Tools of the Mountain Men: A Guide to the Equipment of the Trappers and Fur Traders Who Opened the Old West Paperback – 26 May 2010
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Dr. Russell actually started this book in 1930-34 as he organized a display as an employee of Yellowstone National Park. His book is one of the most complete even to this date I've ever seen covering a period from the Lewis and Clark Expedition up to the year 1840.
As he mentions this book pertains to the iron work of these men who lived bigger than life lives away from civilization, preferring to live in wild areas among the game trails, streams, and Indians. These men in fact out of practicality became themselves much as Indians. Living and thinking like Indians many times living with Indians, marrying into the tribe to become almost unrecognizable from their host tribe.
In bringing the pages of this book together, Dr. Russell "researched the journals, diaries, and letters of the trappers themselves, as well as the business records, inventories and invoices of such famous fur-trading outfits as (General William) Ashley and (Major Alexander) Henry, (Jedediah) Smith, (William) Sublette, and John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company ..." Dr. Russell having either photographed or sketched these 'surviving artifacts' once used by these intrepid explorers now shares them and their history from the early 1800's through 1840 with the reader.
No better guide is in print concerning the iron artifacts from this 20 years plus era. The contents of my hardcover book are listed below:
The Mountain Man in American History
Firearms of the Beaver Hunters
Beaver Traps and Trapping
Knives of the Frontiersmen
The Ax on America's Frontiers
Miscellaneous Iron Tools that went into the West
Irons in the Fire
Historic Objects as Sources of History (Appendix A)
John Jacob Astor's Inventory of Tools and Blacksmithing Equipment
on the Columbia River, 1812-1813 (Appendix B)
Markings on Axes and Tomahawks (Appendix C)
Representative Fur Returns, American Fur Company, Indiana, 1839-1841 (Appendix D)
In over 450 pages this author has given the reader a view into the history of these hardy, adventurous men of history. While having numerous works on the Mountain Man, this book has always been one of my prized books on this era. It would seem to be almost a basic necessity for any Mountain Men library.
"I took ye for an injun"
information on the traps, tools, and implements used by the trappers of this era.
good resource book for re-enactors, especially for those who want to know about authentic knives, traps, and firearms used, and BY WHOM. recommended reading.
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