Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

1825 Randavouze Creek Rendezvous:

This rendezvous was held on Henry’s Fork between the confluences of Burnt Fork and Birch Creek.  In 1825 this location was part of the territory then belonging to Mexico.  (Map)

General William Ashley and some of his men had arrived by June 29th or 30th, however, the formal date of the rendezvous was July 1st.  Ashley wouldn’t open his goods for trading until all of the men had arrived, being as goods were scarce and hard to find in the mountains, and Ashley wanted to ensure that all of his men had an equal opportunity to obtain the needed supplies.  On July 2nd, Ashley was headed back to St Louis  with a pack train loaded with furs, and the trappers were headed back to the mountains.

Ashley reports that there were 120 in attendance at this rendezvous:  29 deserters from the Hudson’s Bay Company, 13 men with Etienne Provost, 7 men with Jedediah Smith, 25 men with Ashley, and 25 to 30 men with John H Weber.  For more about the Hudson's Bay Company deserters see also Johnson Gardner, Antoine Godin, or Peter Skene Ogden.  The remaining men may have been part of Provost’s group, or may have been free trappers. Whiskey was not taken to this rendezvous, a grievous oversite which Ashley would correct at future rendezvous. Beaver was purchased for $2-$3 per pound for men in Ashley’s employ, and for $5 per pound from free trappers. In St Louis  the value of the furs returned from the mountains by Ashley in this year would be about $50,000.

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1826 Rendezvous