9/12/2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Trappers, Traders and Mountain Men

In the early decades of the nineteenth century, French, English, and American fur trappers came to Colorado, living a rugged existence in the mountains.  They traded with -- and often married into -- Indian tribes, and sent pelts back to "the States," where beaver hats were fashionable.  James Baker and Leroy Hafen, in their 1927 History of Colorado, reported that the first recorded trapper-trader in Colorado was James Purcell in 1802, a year before the Louisiana Purchase.  In the book the authors provide a detailed history of the fur trade and of the men who trapped and traded in what was to become Colorado.  The full 5-volume history has been digitized by our library.

The Colorado Magazine, published by the Colorado Historical Society from 1923 to 1980, also detailed the lives of several mountain men.  Articles include:
Born into slavery in 1805, James P. Beckwourth became one of Colorado's most famous mountain men.

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