Malachite’s Big Hole
References and Additional Sources of Information:.
References have been broken down into four major categories described below. In some cases placement of a given work in a category is somewhat arbitrary, as some cross-over may exist. Nonetheless, all of these references, except for fiction, have proven valuable sources of information for The Big Hole.
Primary Sources: are written by the persons who actually participated in the events they are writing about. These include diaries, journals, autobiographies and autobiographical writing masquerading as novels. There may also be some documents by authors who actually talked with the participants.
Secondary Sources: these are reference materials written by authors who were not participants. These often rely on primary sources, but are subject to interpretations, distortions and any agenda or bias of the author.
Living History/Re-enacting: This is a specialized type of secondary source, written primarily for those interested in living history. Information given in these sources is just as valid as from other secondary sources, but is much more oriented towards doing, rather than reference alone.
Historical Fiction: entertaining reading, often informative and educational, but subject to a large portion of guesswork, interpretation and in some cases outright fabrication. Only what I consider to be better works of historical fiction are included here. Most of the popular Mountain Man genre I would categorize as Hysterical Fiction.
Adams, David. The David Adams Journals. Edited by Charles E. Hanson, Jr. Published by the Museum of the Fur Trade 1994. Charles Hanson has compiled a number of journal fragments letters and other accounts to piece together this document. Adams gives us one of the few accounts of the "inland" robe trade from the 1840's. Adams started working for Lancaster Lupton at Fort Platte, but soon formed a partnership with John Sybille (Adams and Sybille). Adams had only a limited education and the journals are difficult to read, as Hanson has preserved the phonetic spellings in the original journals.
Anderson, William Marshall. The Rocky Mountain Journals of William Marshall Anderson: The West In 1834. Edited by Dale Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris, 1967 published by Huntington Library Publications, San Marino, California. The format of this book is quite interesting because the editors have published side by side Anderson's diary, which was written on the trail with the supply train to the 1834 Rendezvous, and the Journal which was rewritten later for publication. The Journals do not describe much of life at the time, however, they do document very well the progress of the supply train in this important year. Anderson, through his journals does show an awareness of the big events going on around him, ie the collapse of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and the combination of the successor company, Fitzpatrick, Subllette and Bridger Company with Fontenelle and Drips. The editors have abundant notes comparing the Journal to other documentation of 1834, including Nathaniel Wyeth's diaries, and letters written by Jason Lee.
Ayer, Frederick, letters published in the Oberlin Evangelist, Volume 5, starting at page 76, May 10, 1843 and printed in Oberlin, Ohio by James M. Fitch. This publication can be found on Google Books.
Ball, John. The Autobiography of John Ball - Across the Plains to Oregon, 1832. Grand Rapids, Mich., The Dean-Hicks company, 1925. John Ball was a member of Nathaniel Wyeth's party of New England Yankees traveling to the far Rocky Mountains and Columbia River Basin in 1832. An electronic version of a portion of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Bartlett, John Russell. Dictionary of Americanisms:A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually Regarded as Peculiar to the United States. First Published in 1848, reprinted in 2003 John Wiley and Sons. This is a dictionary of American slang up through the mid 1800's, collected by John Bartlett an Englishman. Although the dictionary lacks many of the terms used by Ruxton and Garrard, many terms not defined elsewhere can be found here.
Beckwourth, James P. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, published by Harper and Brothers, 1856. Many other editions. A very readable and enjoyable story of the life of Jim Beckwourth. Beckwourth portrays himself as the hero in every circumstance, to the point of greatly exaggerating numbers, places and events. The story does start to become a monotonous litany of Crow Indian raids and counter-raids (Beckwourth lived with the Crows for fourteen years), before Beckwourth goes on to a new phase in his life. Note, although this is considered to be a primary source, it was authored by Beckwourth, who had a reputation as the "Immaculate Liar" and anything Beckworth states should be subject to independent verification.
Bodmer, Karl. Karl Bodmer's North American Prints. 2004. Edited by Brandon K Ruud, published by University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln and London. Karl Bodmer was the Swiss artist who accompanied Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied to western North America in 1832-1834. Maximilian had noted that the native culture and peoples of western North America were rapidly disappearing. With and through the artistic abilities of Karl Bodmer, Maximilian sought to preserve what he could. This book is essentially a 370 page picture book focused largely on the native peoples along the Missouri River. White-European culture were general avoided in the drawings and pictures, however, there are drawings of Forts Union, Pierre, Clark and McKenzie. Even those scenes which portray only natives are valuable because they represent what was visible countless times over the rampart walls from any of the Missouri River Forts.
Bonneville, B.L.E. The Adventures of Captain Bonneville. This book was actually written by Washington Irving, but was based on a manuscript by Bonneville, and conversations with Bonneville, as well as Nathanial Wyeth and other participants in the fur trade at the time. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1961 and edited by Edgeley Todd.
Henry Marie Brackenridge. Journal of a Voyage Up the Missouri River in 1811. Published by Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum in Pittsburg 1814 as part of a book titled Views of Lousiana together with a Journal of a Voyage Up the Missouri River in 1811. Brackenridge was part of a brigade of men dragging keelboats up the Missouri River in 1811 for Manuel Lisa's Missouri Fur Company. An online version of Brackenridge' Journal is available on the website of the American Mountain Man.
Bradbury, John, Travels in the Interior of America, in the Years 1809, 1810, and 1811; Second Edition, Published by Sherwood, Neely and Jones; London, 1819. Bradbury, a botanist, at this time had attached himself to Wilson Price Hunt’s party of Astorians bound eventually for the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean, although Bradbury wouldn’t accompany them that far. Bradbury returned to St. Louis with Manuel Lisa.
Catlin, George. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North American Indian. Published in London, 1844. An online version can be found at: on the website of the American Mountain Man
Chardon, Francis A. Chardon's Journal at Fort Clark, 1834-1839. Edited by Annie Abel. Published by Bison Books 1997 as a reprint of the 1932 edition. The journal is a day to day narrative of events taking place at Fort Clark from the prospective of the fort factor, Francis Chardon. The journal is not an account book, but through the journal we can see something of the business of the fur trade at the fort. We learn of the foods, interpersonal relations between company personnel and Indians, weather, river conditions and life in general. Chardon appears to have been compulsive about tracking things, from the number of rats killed each month, to the number of daily Indian fatalities during the 1837 small pox epidemic. Chardon provides the best observations and documentation of this epidemic which swept the entire Upper Missouri River region.
Clyman, James. Journal of a Mountain Man, edited by Linda M Hasselstrom. Published by the Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, 1984. This book is a compilation of the journals, notebooks, diaries and memoirs of James Clyman. The book provides us a picture of life in the first half of the 1800's as well as a look at a man who was willing to follow opportunities where-ever they would lead, who never allowed himself to be trapped by his own past, doing whatever was necessary to survive.
Clyman, James. Narrative, by James Clyman, 1871. This document describes Clymans experiences in the mountains, primarily from 1824-25, but with snippets from 1826,1827, 1828 and 1829. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Dale, Harrison Clifford (Editor): The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific 1822-1829, with the original journals of William Ashley, Jedediah Smith and Harrison Rogers. 1941, Published by the Arthur H. Clark Company, Glendale California. This book is listed with primary sources because it contains transcriptions of the original journals of William Ashley, Jedediah Smith and Harrison Rogers, Smiths clerk on his second expedition to California.
William Fairholme: Journal of an Expedition to the Grand Prairies of the Missouri, 1840. Edited by Jack B Tykalo and published by the Arthur H Clark Company, Spokane Washington, 1996. ISBN-0-87062-260-9. William Fairholme was a British Military officer stationed in Canada. In 1840 he was invited to join a party composed of other British officers on a buffalo hunt on the plains adjacent to the Santa Fe Trail west of St. Louis. Fairholme, who seems to be unbiased regarding the United States, describes life and culture of the U.S. that only an outsider can truly provide in addition to many details of life on the trail and of the hunt. Although this was a British big game hunting expedition, the British hired Etienne Provost, an accomplished mountain man, to attend to the logistics, security and management of the party.
Farnham, Thomas. Farnham’s Travels in the Great Western Prairies, the Anajuac and Rocky Mountains and in the Oregon Territory. Published 1843. Reprinted by Applewood Books, Bedford, MA. ISBN 1-4290-0235-2
Field, Matt. Matt Field on the Santa Fe Trail. Edited by John E Sunder. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 1960. Matt Field was a young man who had experienced multiple personal disappointments and determined to travel "Out West" as part of the healing process. In 1839 he journeyed down the Santa Fé Trail, past Bent's Fort and then on to Taos and Santa Fé. His Journal starts on July 15, 1839 (His earlier start was lost while chasing antelope). Much of his journal is written in verse. The book also includes 85 short articles written for the New Orleans Picayune starting in December 1839 through June 1841. The articles are all based on his travels along the Santa Fé Trail.
Field Matt C., Prairie & Mountain Sketches, edited by Kate L. Gregg and John Francis McDermott, University of Oklahoma Press, copyright 1957. The book is comprised of a series of stories written by Matt Field for the Daily Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper, based on notes taken by Field while traveling with Sir William Drummond Stewart's 1843 "Rendezvous" in the central Rocky Mountain region. The book is an excellent source, because Field was writing as a greenhorn, and everything new was noteworthy, and also as a newspaper editor/writer, who was trying to capture the feeling and experience of the expedition for his readers.
Ferris, Warren Angus. Life in the Rocky Mountains: A diary of Wanderings on the sources of the Rivers Missouri, Columbia, and Colorado 1830-1835. Edited by Leroy Hafen, published by The Old West Publishing Company, Denver, Colorado 1983. This is an excellent source for both methods and means as well as events taking place during this time period in the Northern and Central Rocky Mountain region.
Ford, Lemuel, March of the Dragoons to the Rocky Mountains in 1865: The Diaries and Maps of Lemuel Ford. Edited by Nolie Mumey, The Eames Brothers Press, Denver, 1957. Lemuels account of the Colonel Henry Dodge expedition up the Platte River and return by way of the Arkansas River to meet and council with Indians of the area.
Garrard, Lewis H. Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail; First published in 1850, new edition copyright 1955 University of Oklahoma Press. Garrard provides an excellent view of life on the trail from Westport, Missouri to Bents Fort during 1846 into 1847.
Gregg, Josiah. The Commerce of the Prairies. 1968 version edited by Milo Milton Quaife, published by The Citadel Press, New York. This book provides an excellent description of the experiences of Dr. Josiah Gregg on the Santa Fe Trail from 1831 through about 1841. Although not about the mountain men and fur trade, the book details life on the Santa Fe Trail, dealings with Indians, and commerce with New and Old Mexico.
Harmon, Daniel Williams. A Journal of Travels and Voyages to the Interior of North America. Published 1903 by A.S. Barnes and Company, New York. A digital edition of this journal is available online through Google Books. Harmon was a clerk with the North West Company starting in 1800 and running through about 1819. An excellent source for information about field conditions in the Canadian fur trade.
Hunt, Wilson Price. Mr. Hunt's Account (From the Lost Diary) of the Journey of the Overland Party From St. Louis Through the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River Mouth, 1811-1812. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
James, Thomas. Three Years Among the Indians and Mexicans. First published in 1846. James was an engage of the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company and traveled to the headwaters of the Missouri River in 1809. James gives a good description of the life of an engage on a keelboat crew. The story takes up again in 1821 when James leads one of the first caravans to Mexican Santa Fe after the revolution. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Kane, Paul. Paul Kane’s Frontier, edited by J. Russell Harper, published by the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art 1971. Paul Kane was an artist who traveled with the Hudson’s Bay Company during the 1840s through an area ranging from the Great Lakes regions to the Pacific Coast. This book includes hundreds of his drawings and paintings, as well as his journal.
Kinzie, Juliette A. Wau-Bun, The Early Day In The Northwest, Edited With Notes And Introduction By Louise Phelps Kellogg Published by George Banta Publishing Company Menasha, Wisconsin, 1930. First published in 1856. Juliette Kinzie was raised as a "well bred" eastern woman. She married John Kinzie, who was an Indian agent in the "old" Northwest based out of Fort Winnebago. With excitement and enthusiasm Juliette plunged into her new life on the frontier. Wau-Bun is the story of her adventures and experiences while in the old Northwest.
Kurz, Rudolph Freiderich. The Journal of Rudolph Friederich Kurz: translated by Myrtis Jarrell; published by the University of Nebraska Press 1970. Kurz was a Swiss artist who came to North America to study and draw Indians from 1846 through to 1852. Because he wasn't wealthy, he needed to support himself during his studies. He found employment with a fur company, and spent most of those years working as a clerk at Fort Union. His observations and perspective of the activities and culture in which he found himself are both detailed and unique because of his background as both a foreigner and an artist. The book includes 93 drawings and sketches, some of which are remarkably detailed, showing clothing, hair styles, equipment, and horse gear.
Larpenteur, Charles. Forty Years a Fur Trader. Published by Francis P. Harper, New York, 1898; Lakeside Press, R.R. Donnelly, 1933; Ross & Haines, Minneapolis, 1962; Bison Books, Lincoln and London, 1989. The book describes Larpenteur's experiences on the Upper Missouri River starting in 1832. Larpenteur worked as clerk/trader with the American Fur Company and opposition companies mostly in the vicinity of Fort Union. This is an excellent source for descriptions of trading procedures and life in and around Fort Union at the time.
Leonard, Zenas. Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard: Written by Himself. This is a wonderful account of the adventures of Zenas Leonard Starting in 1831 when he left St. Louis as part of a company of 70 men under the leadership of Gant and Blackwell until he returned to Independence Missouri in 1835. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Luttig, John C. The Journal of a Fur-Trading Expedition on the Upper Missouri 1812-1813. edited by Stella M Drumm, Published by Argosy-Antiquarian Ltd, New York, 1964. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Maximilian Zu Wied New Wied. People of the First Man: Life Among the Plains Indians in their Final Days of Glory, The First Hand Account of Prince Maximilian's Expedition up the Missouri River, 1833-34. Edited by Davis Thomas and Karen Ronnefeldt, with illustrations by Karl Bodmer. Published 1982 by Promontory Press. This book is a condensation and translation of the original two books by Prince Maximilian, with additions from the original field notes. Maximilian was a natural scientist of the day, part geologist, biologist, botanist, geographer, with a strong interest in ethnology. His timing was particular good, as he was able to make observations of Indians along the Upper Missouri River before their populations were decimated by the smallpox epidemic of 1837, and before the waves of settlers began moving west, and before the Army/Indian wars and reservations. Although his interest was in Indians in their natural environment, most of his studies and observations were made at Fort Clark, Fort Union and Fort McKenzie. Because his observations were made at fur trading posts, he has wonderful records of day to day commerce between the white traders and the Indians.
Palliser, John. Solitary Rambles and Adventures of a Hunter in the Prairies. Published by Charles E Tuttle and Company 1969, first published in 1853, Palliser was a wealthy Irishman who occupied his time as a sporting hunter. In 1847-48 he traveled the Upper Missouri River regions to hunt game in that area. Although the book is essentially a hunting travelogue, Palliser does meet and make observations of the trading post/fort personal that he met in his travels, including Kip, Culbertson, Chardon, and others.
Russell, Osborne. Journal of a Trapper (1834-1843), Edited by Aubrey L Haines, published 1955 by University of Nebraska Press. 191 Pages. The diary of events recorded by Osborne Russell from the time he began his adventures in the mountains, till moving as an emigrant to Oregon in 1843.
Ruxton, George Frederick. Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains 1846-1847. Republished in 1973 by the Rio Grande Press, Inc., Glorieta, New Mexico. This is a record of Ruxton's travels as a tourist with diplomatic privileges through Mexico during the frenzy of the Mexican-American War, and up into what will someday become central Colorado where he spent considerable time living amongst the Mountain Men. Ruxton's experiences and friendships formed during this journey form the basis for his later semi-fictional book "Life in the Far West".
Ruxton, George Frederick. Wild Life In the Rocky Mountains. From edition by The MacMillan Company, New York, copyright 1916. This is an edited and shortened version of Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains 1846-1847.
Ruxton, George Frederick. Life in the Far West. 1859 by Harper and Brothers, New York.. In this book Ruxton blends a fictional story with real life characters and events, based on his own experiences traveling through Mexico and the Rocky Mountain region.
Sage, Rufus B. Rocky Mountain Life, or Startling Scenes and Perilous Adventures in the Far West, During an Expedition of Three Years, First published in 1846, this book was photocopied from an 1857 reprint by Bison Books in April 1982. The book was written by the author immediately after returning from a three year trip to the central Rocky Mountains. The book contains many "every day" descriptions of foods, cooking, medical treatments, camping, travel, Indian customs and relations as then practiced in the region.
Thomas, William H. Journal of a Voyage from St. Louis, Louisianna, to the Mandan Village- 1809. Thomas describes a trip up the Missouri River with Manual Lisa to the Mandan Villages by Keelboat. One of the purposes of the trip was to return the Mandan Chief Sheheken to his people. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Townsend John Kirk. Narrative of a Journey Across the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River. Published 1839. John Kirk Townsend was a naturalist who accompanied Nathaniel Wyeth's expedition across the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. As a scientist and trained observer, Townsend provides us with many useful observations about life in the mountains and relations with the Indians.
The West of Alfred Jacob Miller (1837) from the Notes and Water Colors in The Walters Art Gallery: Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 1968. The watercolor illustrations in this book provide an excellent window into life in the Rocky Mountain West in 1837. As well as numerous portraits of Indians and Mountain Men, Miller portrays aspects of everyday life from butchering a buffalo, to setting traps, to evening campfire. The portraits have incredible detail regarding clothing, decorations and accoutrements. The broader scale drawings have a "mistiness" about them that obscures details of dress and equipment. Even still, these are valuable for details portrayed, such as wedge tents and type of wagons used.
Webb, James, Josiah. Adventures in the Santa Fe Trade, 1844-1847 In his memoirs Web describes his career as a Santa Fe trader in the years 1844 up through the early part of the Mexican American War. Of particular interest are his descriptions of life on the Santa Fe Trail and of customs and procedures for dealing with Mexican commercial officials.
Wislizenus, Frederick A., A Journey to the Rocky Mountains 1839. Translated from German to English in 1912. Reprinted and Published by The Rio Grande Press, Glorietta, New Mexico in 1969. Wislizenus was a medical doctor who accompanied the pack train to the 1839 Rendezvous while taking a sabbatical from his practice.
Wooton, Richens. Uncle Dick Wootten: The Pioneer Frontiersman of the Rocky Mountains; as narrated by Richens Wootton to Howard Louis Conrad, The Narrative Press, copyright 2001, originally published 1957.
Wyeth, Nathaniel. Journal of Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth's Expeditions to the Oregon Country:First Expedition - 1832. This is an account of Wyeth's first expedition to the Rocky Mountains and to Columbia River. Wyeth a successful New England businessman and entrepreneur, was eager to take a shot at wealth and fortune offered in the far west. Wyeth, accompanied by a group of New England "Yankees" left in 1832 on a two year expedition to assess the opportunities and risks involved. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Wyeth, Nathaniel. Journal of Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth's Expeditions to the Oregon Country:Second Expedition - 1834. This is an account of Wyeth's second expedition to the Rocky Mountains and to Columbia River. Wyeth had arranged with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company to provide goods and supplies at the annual rendezvous, However, Sublette and Campbell learned of these plans and raced Wyeth to the mountains where they called in the companies debts and forced it into bankruptcy. Wyeth, stuck with his goods went on to the Snake River where he established Fort Hall. An electronic version of this document is available on the web site of the American Mountain Man.
Abel, Annie Heloise ; editor Chardon’s Journal at Fort Clark, 1834-1839. Abel writes an excellent introduction to the setting of Fort Clark in the trans-Missouri west along with a biographical summary of Chardon’s life. The Journal itself is footnoted with 518 notes which provide further information, analysis and documentation regarding subjects brought up in the journal
Ambrose, Stephen. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, published by Simon & Schuster 1996. An excellent book covering the Lewis & Clark expedition told primarily from the viewpoint of Meriwether Lewis. Explores the problems faced by the expedition and decision making processes of the leaders.
Arnold, Sam. Eating up the Santa Fe Trail: Recipes and Lore from the Old West. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, Colorado 1990 ISBN# 1-55591-291-5. This book contains historic descriptions of the foods and dishes eaten by travelers on the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1800, including authentic recipes.
Athearn, Robert G. Forts of the Upper Missouri. Published by Prentice Hall, Inc. 1967. The book has a couple of chapters describing early conditions on the Upper Missouri River region and the related fur trade, but this is mostly to provide the setting for the main focus of the book which is military posts and forts generally from the time period of the 1850's and later.
Baird, John D. Hawken Rifles: The Mountain Man's Choice, originally published by The Buckskin Press, 1968. This is a solid resource for information about the Hawken Rifles, and about Samuel and Jacob Hawkin and their business in St. Louis. Later research has shown quite definitively that the Hawken was really not the Mountain Mans Choice (see Myths).
Baldwin, John. Tomahawks-Pipe Axes of the American Frontier. 1995, Published by the Early American Artistry Trading Company, West Olive, Michigan. ISBN 0-9651146-0-0. This is by far the best available reference for information regarding the pipe-tomahawk. The book is illustrated with hundreds of black and white and color photos of some of the best examples of pipe-tomahawks available. Limited availability and expensive.
Baldwin, Leland D. The Keelboat Age on Western Waters, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1941. A wealth of information regarding keelboats, flatboats, barges and other forms of water transportation, and the river men that powered them, generally for the period of the late 1700's.
Barbour, Barton H. Fort Union and the Upper Missouri Fur Trade. 2001 University of Oklahoma Press. A great description of the history of construction and renovation of the structure, the men who worked there and their functions, as well as the social dynamics of fur trade society.
Butler, David F. United States Firearms: The First Century 1776-1875; published by Winchester Press, New York, 1971. This book provides descriptions of the evolution of different types of firearms in use during this period, as well as the ammunition used by these guns.
Corbin, Annalies. The Material Culture of Steamboat Passengers: Archeological Evidence from the Missouri River. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000. ISBN 0-306-46168-4. This book is based on a M.S. thesis study of the contents of a limited number of chests or packing cases from the wreck of the S.S. Bertrand, sunk April 1, 1865 and excavated in 1968 and of the S.S. Arabia, sunk September 5, 1856 and excavated in 1998. The book contains extremely detailed descriptions of the items contained in these chests and cases plus inventory lists of recovered items from both the S.S. Bertrand and the S.S. Arabia.
Coyner, David H. The Lost Trappers, edited by David J Weber published 1995 ISBN 0-8061-2725-2. First published in 1847, this book ostensibly records the travels of Ezekiel Williams starting in 1807. In the 1995 printing, editor David J Weber points out that much of what Coyner has written is either plagerized, paraphrased, or simply invented. I cannot recommend this book to any reader, unless they are fully familiar with other period writings.
De Voto, Bernard. Across the Wide Missouri. 1947 Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. This book chronicles the Rocky Mountain Fur trade during its climax and decline, roughly from the years 1832 through 1838. De Voto examines in particular the inter-relationship between the competing outfits during these years. He also provides a glimpse of Indian life as it related to the fur trade, and gives a good sketch of the "typical" mountain man and his way of life. Good reading and well documented for original sources. I should have read this one much sooner than I did.
Dubin, Lois Sherr, The History of Beads, From 30,000 B.C to the Present. 1987, Published by Harry N Abrams, Inc. New York. ISBN 0-8109-0736-4 More than you ever wanted to know about beads. This book has a good section on different historical methods of bead manufacturing, and on beads in the North American Indian trade.
Duncan, Dayton and Ken Burns. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery an Illustrated History. Published by Alfred A Knopf, Inc, New York 1997. This book is a good read. The authors, through the words in the journals of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and four of the enlisted men attempt to portray what the men of the Corp of Discovery may have been thinking and feeling as well as what they were doing as they were making their historic trek across the continent.
Favour, Alpheus H. Old Bill Williams: Mountain Man. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 1962. ISBN 0-8061-1698-6 Well documented, provides a well written narrative of the life of Old Bill Williams, M.T. The book also includes much background material describing the times in which Williams lived. .
Ferguson, Gary. The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind, published 2004, W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. This book describes the mystery, myth and mayhem that have been associated with the towering peaks that create a natural barrier across the nation. The book looks at the creation of the range, prehistory, American Indian relations with the mountains and looks at more current times - from frontiersmen's forays to the invasion of white settlers to modern challenges affecting culture, wildlife and more. A significant portion of the book is given to the mountain men and the reasons why they came west and why they stayed on in the mountains.
Gardner, Mark L. Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822-1880 2000-0, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. ISBN 0-8263-2196-8. You’ll never understand life on the Santa Fe Trail unless you understand wagons as more than a box with four wheels. This well written and well documented book presents everything you need to know about the manufacture, use and maintenance of horse, mule and ox drawn wagons in the 19th Century.
Gooding, S. James, Trade Guns of the Hudson’s Bay Company 1670-1970. Published by Museum Restoration Service, Alexandria Bay, NY. 2003. Follows the development of the trade gun and Northwest Trade Gun in particular from the late 1600’s through to the 1900’s.
Gowans Fred R. Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, published by Gibbs Smith 1985. This book provides excellent descriptions of attendees, trade goods, locations, as well as maps and modern photos of each of the rendezvous sites from 1825 through to 1840.
Gutchess, Gerald & Alan Gutchess. Instructions and Hints for Assembling Pipe Tomahawks. Copyright 1996. Great instruction manual for first-time builders. Includes information for drilling hafts, pewter castings, inlays and gravings.
Hanson Charles E, Jr. The Hawken Rifle: Its Place in History, published by the Fur Press, Crawford, Nebraska, 1979. Probably one of the best sources of documentation of the types of rifles carried by the mountain men, production of rifles by the Hawken brothers, and origin of the myths regarding the "Hawkens Rifles" If you read only one book about the rifles of the Mountain Men, I would highly recommend that it be this reference.
Hanson Charles Jr. The Plains Rifle, published by The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1960. A solid, well researched source covering Indian Trade guns, the predecessor rifles and evolution of the Plains Rifle, and information regarding Samuel and Jacob Hawkens, and other gun makers of St. Louis and eastern U.S.
Hanson, James A. The Fur Trade Cutlery Sketchbook, 1994, published by The Fur Press, Crawford, Nebraska. Sketches of the various fur trade era knives, most of which are in the collection of the FurTrade Museum in Chadron, Nebraska, along with a description of the knives.
Hanson, James A & Kathryn J Wilson. The Buckskinner's Cook Book: published by The Fur Press, 1979. A collection of recipes, some good, some bad. The recipes are based on actual, authentic recipes, or are extrapolated based on what people said they ate, or had available.
Hanson, James, with Dick Harmon. The Encyclopedia of the Fur Trade :Firearms of the Fur Trade, 2011, Published by the Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron, Nebraska. ISBN 978-0-912611-18-1. This is a comprehensive study of guns and rifles of the fur trade ranging from the early 1600’s through to the begriming of the 20th Century. There are more than 500 high quality color images, many of guns in like new condition.
Hart, Herbert M. Tour Guide to Old Forts of Montana, Wyoming North & South Dakota. 1980 Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado. ISBN: 0-87108-570-4 The book provides an approximately one-paragraph description of fur trade era and military forts and posts, who constructed them, dates of use, a brief description of the fort and a general location. Maps are provided for each state showing locations of the forts. The author doesn't provide sources for his information. The book is a good starting point for general information.
Hoig, Stan. The Western Odyssey of John Simpson Smith, Frontiersman, Trapper, Trader and Interpreter. 1974, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1974. ISBN 0-87062-107-6
Hunter, Louis C. Steamboats on the Western Rivers, An Economic and Technological History. Copyright 1949, first published by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. This is a comprehensive study of the technological evolution and economic impacts of the steamship on transportation and freighting in the Western U.S. A dry read, but packed with information.
Jeffrey, Julie Roy. Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman. 1991 Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman Oklahoma. The book is both a historical account of the Whitman mission, and through the many letters she wrote, a look into the mind of Narcissa Whitman.
Kauffman, Henry, J., American Axes: A Survey of Their Development and Their Makers, 1972. Published by the Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301, ISBN 0-8289-0138-4.
Lavender, David. Bent's Fort. Copyrighted 1954. Published by the University of Nebraska Press. This book provides a detailed look into the histories of both the Bent brothers and St. Vrain, how they were all exposed to trapping/trading in the northern Rocky Mountain region, but became disillusioned and turned to commerce along the Santa Fe Trail, and became partners. The book also provides a detailed look at commerce between Taos/Santa Fe and St. Louis, as well as with Indian tribes of the southern Rocky Mountain Region.
Lavender, David. The Fist in the Wilderness, 1964, published by the University of Nebraska Press. A very well written and informative book, primarily about Ramsay Crooks, but also provides an excellent setting for the fur trade in the Old North West and international impacts on the fur trade resulting from the Treaty of Paris, Jays Treaty and the War of 1812.
Lepley, John G., Blackfoot Fur Trade on the Upper Missouri. Published by Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula 2004. An excellent description of the forts, men, and companies involved in the Blackfoot trade of the Upper Missouri River, though not well foot noted.
Marsh, James B., Four Years in the Rockies, or The Adventures of Isaac P. Rose., published by W.B. Thomas, New Castle, PA, 1884. The book is purported to be written by Marsh based on interviews with Rose, who was an elderly man at the time of the interviews. In actuality, large sections of the book have been blatantly plagiarized from Francis Fuller Victor’s River of the West, with the only changes made being to insert Rose’ name as a participant or hero in the various adventures. Isaac Rose is verifiably a mountain man, so I’m not sure why Marsh found it necessary to plagiarize so much, unless it was that the elderly Rose was losing his memories. Those sections of the biography taking place before and after the four years in the mountains are probably accurate, but because so much of the book can be verifiably plagiarized, everything related to Rose’ experiences as a mountain man is suspect. I would not recommend wasting time reading this book-read River of the West instead.
Martin, Ann Smart, Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia. Published by John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2008. A study of early consumerism in the late 18th Century and earliest 19th Century based on the voluminous and highly detailed business records and correspondence of John Hook. The book explores the dynamics that existed between the consumers, the retailer and the suppliers, Similar dynamics may have existed in the western fur trade.
McCutcheon, Marc. The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800’s, published by Writer’s Digest Books, 1993. The health, medicine and hygiene chapter gives a brief description of common maladies, and diseases of the 1800’s as well as typical treatments, and the philosophy behind the treatments of the day.
Montgomery, Florence M., Textiles in America 1650-1870, Published 1984 by WW Norton & Company, New York. This study of fabrics is based on paintings, commercial records, merchant papers, shopkeeper advertisements, and pattern books with original fabric swatches. Includes a dictionary of fabrics and fabric terms, with time periods as to when certain patterns and fabrics first appeared. Many color photos of patterns and designs.
Morgan, Dale; editor, The West of William H. Ashley: 1822-1838. Published by The Old West Publishing Company, Denver Colorado, 1964. This book is largely a compilation of transcriptions of original documents, letters, reports, newspaper articles, etc. regarding Ashley and those events related to the fur trade and Ashley.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Vol. I, edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published 1965 by the Arthur H Clark Company. Includes a brief history of the fur trade of the far west with chapters on Manuel Alvarez, Abel Baker, Jr., Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Francis A Chardon, Henry Chatillon, James Clyman, Alexander Culbertson, Jimmy Daugherty, Job Francis Dye, Thomas Eddie, Gabriel Franchere, Mark Head, Charles Larpenteur, Joseph L Meek, George Nidever, Hiram Scott, Isaac Slover, Pinckney W. Sublette, Solomon P. Sublette, and Charles Town.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Vol. II, edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published 1965 by the Arthur H Clark Company. With chapters on John Albert, Charles Bent, Thomas Biggs, Francis Ziba Branch, Calvin T Briggs, Lewis T Burton, John Pierre Cabanné, Sr., Moses Carson, Jacques Clamorgan, Auguste Clermont, William Craig, John Day, Jacques D'Eglise, Warren Angus Ferris, Johnson Gardner, Hugh Glenn, Antoine Godin, Miles Morris Goodyear, Mathew Kinkead, James Kipp, Lancaster Lupton, Kenneth McKenzie, Stephen Hall Meek, David Dawson Mitchell, Antonio Montero, Albert Pike, William Pope, Nathaniel Prior, John Baptiste Richard, Osborne Russell, Isaac Sparks, Louis Vasquez, Walkara (Ute Chief), William Wolfskill, John Work, Ewing Young.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Vol. III, edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published 1965 by the Arthur H Clark Company. With chapters on Marcelino Baca, James Baird, James Baker, Henry A Boller, Michael Bourdon, John J Burroughs, Richard Campbell, Joseph Dickson, William Doughty, Joe Doyle, John Thomas Evans, Jacob Fowler, Henry Fraeb, Isaac Graham, James A Hamilton, William Laidlaw, Antoine and Abraham Ledoux, Stephen Louis Lee, Jacob Primer Leese, William Morrison, Henry Naile, Peter Skene Ogden, Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun, Daniel T Potts, Rufus B Sage, Marcellin St. Vrain, Thomas L Sarpy, George Semmes Simpson, William Tharp, David Thompson, Phillip F Thompson, Courtney Meade Walker, Seth E Ward, Caleb Wilkins, Dick Wootton.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume IV; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on Charles Autobees, George Bent, Robert Bent, Joseph Bissonette, Alexander K Branch, George Drouillard, George Wood Ebbert, Robert Fisher, Moses “Black” Harris, Alexander Harvey, John L Hatcher, John Hawkins, Theodore Hunt, Tomas James, Charles Kinney, Antoine LeRoux, James Mackay, William F May, Archibald Charles Metcalf, Gervais Nolan, James Ohio Pattie, Joshua Pilcher, Antoine Robidoux, John Rowland, Peter A Sarpy, Alexander Sinclair, Prewitt F Sinclair, Thomas L (Peg Leg) Smith, Milton G Sublette, Pierre Tevanitagon (Old Pierre), Tom Tobin, Elbridge Trask, Jean Baptiste Truteau. The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume V; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on Cyrus Alexander, John Ball, James Bird, Jr., Benjamin Bonneville, James Bordeaux, Lucien Fontenelle, John Gantt, Seth Kinman, James Kirker, Michel Laframboise, William LeBlanc, Aaron B. Lewis, Manuel Lisa, Joseph Livernois, Finnan MacDonald, Duncan McDougall, Donald McKenzie, Levin Mitchell, Bill New, Benjamin O'Fallon, Dick Owens, Antoine Plante, Ceran St. Vrain, Louy Simmons, John Simpson Smith, William L Sublette, Joseph R Walker, and Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume VI; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on Charles H. Beaubien, James P. Beckwourth, William W. Bent, James Bridger, Kit Carson, James Craigie, David Crow, Chat Dubray, Charles Gardner, Elbridge Gerry, Hugh Glass, Andrew Henry, Wilson Price Hunt, Calvin Jones, Francisco Laforet, Baptiste LaLande, J. LaRamee, Maurice LeDuc, Pierre Lesperance, Etienne Lucier, Thomas McKay, Alexander Roderick McLeod, Lucien Maxwell, Pierre Menard, Pierre Pariseau, Francois Payette, John Poisal, Sylvestre S. Pratte, Etienne Provost, Alexander Ross, and Solomon Howard Smith.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume VII; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on William H. Ashley, Geminien P. Beauvais, John Brown, Jean-Baptiste Chalifoux, Ross Cox, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Joseph Gale, Jean Baptisite Gervais, Tim Goodale, John Harris, Ignace Hatchiorauquasha (John Grey), Denis Julien, Louis Labonte, Alexander Le Grand, Donald Manson, Lewis B. Myers, Francois Rivet, John Robertson, Isaac P. Rose, Reuben Smith, David Stuart, Jim Swanock and the Delaware Hunters, Simeon Turley, William H. Vanderburgh, Antoine Francois Vasquez, Auguste Pike Vasquez, Elijah Barney Ward, Charles A. Warfield, Isaac Williams, and William Workman.
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume VIII; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on Louis Ambroise, Albert Gallatin Boone, Robert Campbell, Michel Sylvestre Cerré, Malcolm Clark, John Colter, CHarles Compo, Jules DeMun, Pierre Dorion, John Dougherty, Andrew Drips, Edward & Francis Ermatinger, Jacques Fournaise (Old Pino), Friday, the Arapaho, Antoine Janis, Charles Deemle, Jean Baptiste Lucier, dit Gardipe, Robert McClellan, William W McGaa, John McLoughlin, Mariano Medina, Robert Newell, James Pursley, Joseph Robidoux, Louis Robidoux, Jedediah Smith, Andrew Whitley Sublette, William Sherley Williams (Old Bill).
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Volume IX; edited by LeRoy R Hafen, published by The Arthur H Clark Company, Glendale, California, 1966. With chapters on Joseph Bissonet, Lemuel Carpenter, Eustache Carriere, Alexander Carson, Toussaint Charbonneau, Auguste Pierre Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., Ramsay Crooks, Edward De Morin, John B Didier, James Douglas, Lewis Dutton, Russel Farnham, William Gordon, Richard Grant, Caleb Greenwood, Zacharias Ham, William T Hamilton, Valentine Johnson (Rube) Herring, John Hoback, Jacob Reznor, and Edward Robinson, David E Jackson, William Kittson, Charles McKay, Robert McKnight, Joseph McLoughlin, Robert Meldrum, David Meriwether, J.B. Moncravie, John Newman, Pierre Didier Papin, Simon Plamondon, Antoine Reynal, Jr., Edward Rose, Hubert Rouleau, John F.A. Sanford, Robert Stuart, Joseph Thing, John H Weber, Peter M. Weiser, Ezekiel Williams, George C Yount.
Lecompte, Janet. Pueblo, Hardscrabble, Greenhorn: The Upper Arkansas, 1832-1856 University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1978. ISBN 0-8061-1462-2 Pueblo, Hardscrabble and Greenhorn were amongst the earliest white settlements in Colorado. Commencing as outposts of fur and liquor trade with the Indians, these small communities attracted a diverse population which extended their activities to include ranching and farming. Located beyond the pales of civilized strictures, the inhabitants enjoyed a free mixing of Mexican, Indian and Anglo-American cultures without laws and bigotry.
Morgan, Dale: Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, published 1953, Bobbs-Merrill Co.
Morgan, Dale, editor: The West of William H. Ashley 1822-1838. Published by The Old West Publishing Company, Denver Colorado 1964. This work is largely a compilation of transcripts of original documents, letters, reports, newpaper articles, etc. related to Ashely and those events that influenced or were influenced by Ashley.
Newman, Peter C. Empire of the Bay: An Illustrated History of the Hudson's Bay Company; by published by Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 1989. An informative and readable history of the Hudson's Bay Company's 300 plus year history, containing many drawings, paintings, photos and maps.
Nute, Grace Lee. The Voyageur. First published 1931 by D. Appleton and Company. This is a definitive work regarding the French-Canadian voyageurs and there half-blood descendents. In describing the character, customs, exploits and lives of these men the author frequently references and quotes the original source material. One long chapter is given to the songs (in French with English translations) and musical scores for the melodies. ISBN 0-87351-213-8
Nute, Grace Lee. The Voyageur’s Highway. First Published 1941 by the Minnesota Historical Society. In this book Nute primarily describes the inland route west from Lake Superior through that region along the northern border of Minnesota with Canada. ISBN 0-87351-006-2
Peterson, Guy L: Four Forts of the South Platte , 1982, published by the Council on America ’s Military Past. Excellent source of information regarding Fort St. Vrain (Fort George), Fort Lupton (Fort Lancaster), Fort Vasquez, and Fort Jackson.
Porter, Mae Reed and Odessa Davenport. Scotsman in Buckskin, Sir William Drummond Stewart and the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade; published by Hastings House, New York, 1963. A good summary biography of Sir William Drummond Stewart, the Scottish Noblemen who sought adventure in the Rocky Mountains between the years 1833 and 1839. The main problem with the book is it portrays numerous myths as fact (various of the mountain men are described as carrying Hawken rifles and Green River Knives in 1833, long before these were available, and Green River Knives are stated to be manufactured in Sheffield, England) The presence of these myths and errors makes much of the background information suspect and with a lack of footnotes it is difficult to verify information.
Patton, Burce C. Lewis & Clark: Doctors in the Wilderness, published by Fulcrum Publishing, Golden Colorado, 2001. An excellent description of disease theory, medical practice, and an analysis of the various illnesses and maladies, and remedies, as described in the journals of Lewis & Clark.
Phillips, Paul Chrisler. The Fur Trade, published 1961, University of Oklahoma Press, two volumes, approximately 1400 pages. This is a comprehensive study of the fur trade in North America from the earliest 1600s to the collapse of the trade in the 1840s. Strong focus on the geopolitics of the fur trade, and how it relates to and influenced events in Europe and China. Dry as dust, but contains a lot of gold nuggets if you are interested in a “Big Picture” view of the fur trade in North America.
Reyher, Ken. Antoine Robidoux and Fort Uncompahgre, 1998, Western Reflections Publishing Company, Montrose, Colorado. A summary of the life of Antoine Robidoux, with a good historical setting of the fur trade in the middle Rockies and Southwest, focusing on Fort Robidoux.
Riling, Ray. The Powder Flask Book. 1953 Published by Bonanza Books, New York. This book presents a history of the powder flask from its origins to the development of the metallic cartridge, but focuses on the copper and brass flasks of the 19th Century. 495 pages with hundreds of photos and illustrations.
Russell, Carl P. Firearms, Traps, & Tools of the Mountain Men, published by University of New Mexico Press, 1967. 448 Pages. This book describes primarily the iron artifacts of the mountain men and fur trade, including the origins of those tools. Also may include descriptions of how those tools were typically used.
Russell, Carl P. Guns On the Early Frontiers: A History of Firearms from Colonial Times Through the Years of the Western Fur Trade. 1957. Published by the University of California Press. This reference has information about firearms of the period not available from many other sources.
Sabin, Edwin L., Kit Carson Days, 1809-1868. Published by A.C. McClurg and Co. Chicago, 1914.
Sandoz, Mari. The Beaver Men-Spearheads of Empire, published 1964, University of Nebraska Press. 332 pages. A fairly comprehensive study of the entire span of the fur trade in North America, but runs out of steam for the 1803-1840 period.
Stewart, George R. Ordeal By Hunger. Copyright 1936, Published by Houghton Mifflin Company 1960. a well written, well documented story of the Donner Party.
Stewart, William Drummond. Edward Warren. Published by Mountain Press, 1996, Missoula Montana, was originally published in 1854. Although this is written as fiction taking place in the 1830's, those portions of the book taking place on the western plains and mountains is based directly on the observations of Stewart while attending several successive rendezvous.
Strong, Lisa. Sentimental Journey, The Art Of Alfred Jacob Miller. 2008 published by the Amon Carter Museum. Much of the text of the book is an analysis of the cultural setting of the artist and his primary patron and how that is reflected in the art, the book none-the-less contains sketchs and paintings which I have not seen elsewhere.
Thomas, David Hurst, et al. The Native Americans: An Illustrated History. 1993, Published by Turner Publishing, Inc. Atlanta, GA. ISBN 9781878685422. A well written and very readable book about the Indians of North America. Contains an excellent chapter describing the early interactions between the Europeans and natives, and the consequences. Also an excellent chapter in part describing the fur trade.
Thorp, Raymond W and Robert Bunker. Crow Killer, The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson, published 1958, Indiana University Press. 190 pages. An account of the life of John Johnson who came to the mountains after the Golden Age of the Mountain Man, but in all respects lived his life as a mountain man. His life was the basis for the Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson.
Tichenor, Harold: The Blanket: An Illustrated History of the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket. Published by Quantum Book for the Hudson's Bay Company. ISBN 1-895892-20-1
Tomkins, William. Indian Sign Language; published by Dover Publications, Inc. 1969. The book is based on the authors experiences amongst the Souix Indians in the latest 1800's. The book conveys the meanings of over 800 common words using drawings and short descriptions. A practice section at the back proceeding from simple to increasingly complex are intended to sharpen the skill of the user. An excellent reference for anyone seriously contemplating acquisition of this skill.
Utley, Robert M. A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, published 1997 Henry Holt and Company. 392 pages. This book is well written, and an easy read. It illustrates the geopolitical role played by the American Mountain Men from 1804 through the 1840’s in fulfilling the concept of “Manifest Destiny”, a continent spanning nation.
Van Kirk, Sylvia. Many Tender Ties: Women in Fur-Trade Society in Western Canada, 1670-1870; published by Watson & Dwyer Publishing, 1981. This book describes the evolution of the role played by women in fur trade society, especially in the context of the business/cultural context of the Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company.
Vestal Stanley. The Old Santa Fe Trail. First published 1939. 1996 edition University of Nebraska Press. The book approaches the Santa Fe Trail from a geographical, rather than a chronological perspective starting at Westport, Missouri and thence west, step by step to Santa Fe. The author's purpose in writing this book was to recreate the experience and life along the Santa Fe trail,
Victor, Frances Fuller. The River of the West: The Adventures of Joe Meek published by Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1983, 2 volumes. Note-originally published by R.W. Bliss, 1870. This book recounts hair-raising and wild tales of the mountains as told by Joe Meek to Frances Victor. Stories are largely in chronological order and Meek includes lots of details about the fur companies, condition of the trade and his companions. Meek is a great story teller, and his wonderful sense of humor shows through.
Vogel, Virgil J. American Indian Medicine, published by University of Oklahoma Press, 1970. A complete description of Indian disease theory, remedies, and the effect of Indian medicinal practices on white civilization.
Weber, David J. The Taos Trappers: The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540-1846 1971. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. In this comprehensive history, David J. Weber draws on Spanish, Mexican, and American sources to describe the development of the Taos trade and the early penetration of the area by French and American trappers. Within this borderlands region, colorful characters such as Ewing Young, Kit Carson, Peg-leg Smith, and the Robidoux brothers pioneered new trails to the Colorado Basin, the Gila River, and the Pacific and contributed to the wealth that flowed east along the Santa Fe Trail.
Wheeler, Robert C., A Toast to the Fur Trade, A Picture Essay on Its Material Culture, 1985 published by Wheeler Productions, 2183 Payne Ave, St. Paul, MN 55117. ISBN 0-9614362-1-2 Although written at a student level, this book is none-the-less an excellent source of information regarding the fur trade in the Old Northwest. It provides excellent descriptions of trade goods, their manufacture, use, and origin, using many examples obtained from underwater archeological recoveries from the many rapids in the old Northwest.
White, George M. Craft Manual of North American Indian Footwear, 1969. This book furnishes general instructions for construction and assembly of Moccasins and provides patterns for twenty-six different moccasin types used by different Indians throughout North America.
Wilson, Rex L. Clay Tobacco Pipes from Fort Laramie National Historic Site and Related Locations. December 1971. Published by the Division of Archeology and Anthropology, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, National Park Service. This book is most useful for its summary description of the process of manufacturing clay tobacco pipes from the 17th through the end of the 19th centuries. Numerous photos of pipes recovered from Fort Laramie and Fort Kip. Most other examples are from other western forts in the later half of the 19th century.
Wischmann, Lesley. Frontier Diplomats: Alexander Culbertson and Natoyist-Siksina Among the Blackfeet. Published 2004 by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. ISBN 0-8061-3607-3. Well researched, well documented history of Alexander Culbertson and his second blackfoot wife Natoyist-Siksina, as well as the fur trade on the upper Missouri River, the Blackfoot Indians, and other names associated with Culbertson.
Young, Egerton R. The Apostle of the North: Rev. James Evans. Published 1900 by William Briggs, Toronto, C.W. Coates, Montreal, and S.F. Huestis, Halifax. Digital edition available through Google Books.
Laubin, Reginald & Gladys. The Indian Tipi, It’s History, Construction, and Use, published 1957, University of Oklahoma Press, 343 pages. This is the definitive reference for tipi history, construction, use and setup, and furnishings.
The Book of Buckskinning, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1981 by Rebel Publishing Company, 202 pages. This book contains a series of articles for Re-enactors including the Philosophy of Buckskinning, How to Get Started, Rendezvous and Shoots, Lodges and Tipis, Guns, Clothing, Accoutrements & Equipment, Skills, Women in Buckskinning, and Crafts .
The Book of Buckskinning II, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1983 by Rebel Publishing Company, 264 pages. This book contains articles for Re-enactors including Working with Leather, 18th Century Clothing, Horseback Travel, Design & Construction of Powder Horns, Firemaking, Traveling Afoot and by Canoe, Making Camp Gear, and Gun Tune-Up and Care.
The Book of Buckskinning III, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1985 by Rebel Publishing Company, 235 pages. This book contains articles for Re-enactors including Historic Guns and Todays Makers; Quillworking; Trade Beads; 18th & 19th Century Cooking; The Hunting Pouch; Beadworking; Techniques for Making Footwear; and Period Shelters.
The Book of Buckskinning IV, edited by William H Scurlock, Published 1987 by Scurlock Publishing Company, 258 pages. This book contains articles for Re-enactors including: Traditional Blacksmithing; Blankets in Early America; From Raw Hides to Rawhide; Styles of the Southwest; Smoothbores on the Frontier; Trade Silver; Backwoods Knives; Lighting the Primitive Camp; and Historic Sites & Museums.
The Book of Buckskinning V, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1989, by Scurlock Publishing Company, 250 pages. This book contains a series of articles for Re-enactors including Trade Goods for Rendezvous, Games, Sports & Other Amusements, Fur Trade Indian Dresses, Tipi Know-How, Engraving & Carving, Old-Time Music & Instruments, Pack Saddles & Panniers, and Museums & Historic Sites II.
The Book of Buckskinning VI, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1992, by Scurlock Publishing Company, 213 pages. This book contains a series of articles for Re-enactors including Traditional Hunting Pouch; Horse Gear- East & West; Making a Wooden Bow; American Powder Horns; Frontier Trail Foods; Old-Time Shooting Matches; Period Trekking; and Finger Weaving.
The Book of Buckskinning VIII, edited by William H Scurlock, published 1999, by Scurlock Publishing, 257 pages. This book contains a series of articles for Re-enactors including: The History of the Horse in the Fur Trade; 18th Century Tattooing; Beaver Hunting; Wing Shooting with a Flintlock Shotgun; Gear of the Rocky Mountain Trapper; Independent Women of America's Past; The History & Trade Ledgers of Fort Hall; The Evolution of the Cocked Hat; Beadwork in the American West before 1850.
Sibley, Scott & Cathy. Recreating the 18th Century Powder Horn. Published by Track of the Wolf, Inc, 2005. The Sibleys describe the tools, methods, give tips and hints and provide numerous historical examples. There are numerous, excellent photographs which illustrate the text. This is a great guide for anyone interested in making powderhorns.
Eckert, Allan W. The Frontiersmen, A Narrative 1967, published by Bantam Books. This book is historically set in the period from 1768-1813 as the frontier was moving to the west of the Allegany Mountains into the Ohio River Valley and into the "Old" Northwest. The story is told largely from the perspective of Simon Kenton and Tecumseh. Although I've categorized this as fiction, this is not a fictional story with a historical setting. Everything that is described in this book can be documented, with snippets from hundreds of different sources being woven together into a comprehensive story.
Eckert, Allan W. The Conquerors, 1970. published by Bantam Books. This book is set in the time period from 1758 through 1764 during the period when the French ceded their holdings east of the Mississippi River to the English, and particularly focuses on the Pontiac Wars. Although I've categorized this as fiction, this is not a fictional story with a historical setting. Everything that is described in this book can be documented, with snippets from hundreds of different sources being woven together into a comprehensive story.
Eckert, Allan W. The Wilderness War, 1978, First published by Little, Brown, many additional printings. This book, with the exception of some introductory background material is largely set in the frontier and wilderness of Pennsylvania and New York during the Revolutionary War. The story illustrates the irregular combat that took place between British Regulars, their Indian allies and Tories; and the American Regulars, their Indian allies and militia. Although I've categorized this as fiction, this is not a fictional story with a historical setting. Everything that is described in this book can be documented, with snippets from hundreds of different sources being woven together into a comprehensive story.
Kirkpatrick, Jane. A Name of Her Own. 2002, Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the words of the author, this is a true story imagined. This story is set in the historical context of the Overland Astorian expedition from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia and is told from the perspective of an Iowa Indian woman, Marie Dorian. To my knowledge, the author does not in anyway change history, but rather through imagination fills in the unknown gaps between what little is know of this remarkable woman.
Kirkpatrick, Jane. Every Fixed Star. 2003, Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Marie Dorian's story from 1814-1841. Much more speculative than A Name of Her Own.
Ruxton, George Frederick. Life in the Far West: Edited by LeRoy Hafen, published by University of Oklahoma Press. This novel by Englishman George Frederick Ruxton first appeared in serial format in 1848 and was based in part on Ruxton's travels through Taos, Santa Fe, Bent's Fort, and along the Santa Fe Trail. Descriptions of the mountain man's rifle in this novel may have provided the origin of the myth associating mountain men with Hawkins Rifles. Ruxton's factual account of his travels in Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, first published in 1847, is distinguished by it's excellent and accurate descriptions of clothing, weapons and equipment.