Journal Of A Trapper: Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843

Journal Of A Trapper: Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843

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Title:Journal Of A Trapper: Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843
Author:Osborne Russell
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Journal Of A Trapper: Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843 Reviews

  • Deelighted

    Interesting but difficult to read due to lack of punctuation and words spelled different.

  • Blake

    "The sight of danger is less hideous than the thought of it."

    This rambling and almost punctuation-free journal of the life of a Rocky Mountains trapper at the tail end of his profession's heyday is difficult to read at times, and often devolves into mere listing of distances traveled and landmarks passed, but when he gets into the actual narratives of his life, few firsthand sources of the era can rival the suspense and sense of dread Russell provides.

    Most interesting are the freque

    "The sight of danger is less hideous than the thought of it."

    This rambling and almost punctuation-free journal of the life of a Rocky Mountains trapper at the tail end of his profession's heyday is difficult to read at times, and often devolves into mere listing of distances traveled and landmarks passed, but when he gets into the actual narratives of his life, few firsthand sources of the era can rival the suspense and sense of dread Russell provides.

    Most interesting are the frequency with which he and comrades go to war with Blackfeet and Crow bands, their tactics thereby employed, how frequently they kill buffalo for a single meal, what privation they endure when suddenly bereft of powder, fuel, and horse, and how obvious it is, even to them, that all the animals they subsist on are clearly getting irrevocably scarce. How odd, in fact, that any dominant invasive lifestyle could be going extinct as early as the late 1830s, with its actors being entirely cognizant of that reality, even if not feeling a keen guilt about the environmental and colonial change they've wrought that many modern observers might wish upon them.

    I read this for the subjective first-hand details of the lifestyle but would return to the individual narrative episodes in future. I recommend it to anyone interested in the fur trade, native mountain tribes, or mountain men.

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