The Topic:
Mountain Men

Also visit a companion webpage to this site called Mountain Men Links and find connections to almost a hundred mountain men biography websites. They are organized alphabetically from John David Albert to Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth.
 
Easier - Mountain men were fur traders and trappers who explored much of the Rocky Mountain regions. Mountain men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick, and Jedediah Smith mapped the Rockies as they searched for and trapped beaver.
 
Harder - Lewis and Clark's 'Corps of Discovery' (1804-'05) brought back reports of the wild game and fur-bearing animals in the Rocky Mountains. Several fur companies were interested in harvesting these resources. Finding few Native Americans interested in trapping, these companies hired frontiersmen to obtain the pelts. These trappers became known as "mountain men." They roamed throughout the wild areas of the Rocky Mountains and on to the coastal regions in search of fur-bearing animals.
 
Overtrapping quickly led to a drop in the beaver population. In addition the price for beaver pelts dropped in the 1830's as European hat manufacturers switched to silk instead of felt. By the 1870's, most of the fur trade has ceased.
 
Mountain Men and the Fur Trade
http://www.xmission.com/~drudy/amm.html
This website is devoted to the history, traditions, tools, and mode of living, of the trappers, explorers, and traders known as the mountain men.
 
Mountain Men, Fur Trappers
http://www.linecamp.com/museums/americanwest/hubs/mountain_men_trape . . .
Here you can learn what mountain men and trappers were and how they helped to shape the American West. The site includes biographies of famous mountain men.
 
The Mountain Men at Overland Trail
http://www.over-land.com/westpers3.html
This links-page connects to sites with lots of information about mountain men.
Another Mountain Men Links Site:
2) Links about the Mountain Men http://www.beckwourth.org/Links/MountainMen.html
 
The Mountain Men: Pathfinders of the West 1810-1860
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/HNS/Mtmen/home.html
This site includes descriptions of the ways of the mountain men, where they traveled and how they helped navigate the West. There is also a section on the importance of the fur trade and biographies.
 
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of these activities:
 
Complete a Mountain Men WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures to complete the webQuest found at Trailblazers - Now and Then.
 
Write a Mountain Man Journal. Pretend that you are part of a company of trappers and mountain men during the 1830s. After reading some of the journals of real mountain men, try your hand at writing a fictional journal. Pick a setting. Write daily entries telling what about your life. You may want to put your journal in the form of letters to someone 'back east.'
 
Debate the Issue of Trapping Today. The era of the mountain man is long gone, but fur trapping and trading continue today. Today, many people are opposed to trapping of wildlife. Visit some of the following sites. Identify the main arguments for both sides of the issue. Consider the viewpoints of a city or rural dweller in differing locales. You will find information at these websites:
Write a Mountain Man Play. Together with friends and classmates, write and perform a short play about mountain men. You might use one of the historical rendezvous gatherings as the setting for the play. You will find some useful ideas for terms and phrases used by mountain men at Language of the Rendezvous, Mountain Man Language, and A Glossary of American Mountain Men Terms, Words & Expressions. Pick a colorful title for your production. Put together and collect costumes and props. Rehearse and perform your play.
 
Draw a Mountain Man Scene. Draw a picture of a mountain man. Include clothing and equipment. Share your artwork with friends and family.
 
Website By Kids For Kids
Fur Trappers
http://www.vsufsd24.com/ashokan/dvsw/furtrappingindex.html
This page at the Ashokan website was created by a sixth grade class. It contains information about pioneers and fur trading.
 
More Mountain Men Websites
Across the Wide Missouri: The Adventure Narrative from Lewis and Clark to Powell
http://www.tcu.edu/depts/prs/amwest/html/wl0071.html
This article summarizes historical literature of the exploration and opening of the American West after the journey of Lewis and Clark.
 
Beavers and Boomtown: Remembering the St. Louis Fur Trade by K.S. Brown
http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/conmag/1997/02/1.html
This article explains how the City of St. Louis thrived 200 years ago as the center of the western fur trade.
 
Beyond the Pale...African-Americans in the Fur Trade West by W.W. Gwaltney
http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/furtrade.htm
This article by the Superintendent of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site illustrates the wide ranging impact made by blacks in all areas of the fur trade.
 
Descriptions of Mountain Men collected by M. Moore
http://klesinger.com/jbp/dismm.html
This site provides descriptions of mountain men in which we see a wide range of equipment, styles and looks.
Related Articles of Mountain Men:
2) The Equipment (Plunder) http://klesinger.com/jbp/mmequip.html
3) An Estate of a Mountain Man http://klesinger.com/jbp/estate.html
4) The Stuff of Legends: The Ways of the Mountain Men
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Mtmen/lifestyle.html
5) Mountain Men, Trappers nad Traders
http://www.sltrib.com/archive/centennial/centx5~1.htm
6) Mountain Men http://earlyamericanhom.com/WildWest/editorials/1999/0499.htm
 
Discoverers and Explorers at The Oregon Trail
http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Discoverers.html
This website has information about mountain men, fur trade companies, the Astors, and John Fremont.
 
Feeding the Fad for Furs at End of the Oregon Trail
http://www.teleport.com/~eotic/road2oregon/sa03furs.html
This page provides a good history of the fur trade in Oregon.
Similar Websites:
(2) The Fur Trade in Utah http://eddy.media.utah.edu/medsol/UCME/f/FURTRADE.html
(3) Fort Atkinson and the Fur Trade
http://www-dial.jpl.nasa.gov/~steven/casde/atkinson/fur.html
(4) History of Fort Benton http://www.fortbenton.com/fbrestore/hbenton.htm
(5) Feeding the Fad For Furs by Jim Tompkins
http://rutnut.com/nwocta/stories/fadforfurs.html
 
Fur trade Timeline
http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Gorge/7186/bp3.htm
Here you can find a brief description of the most significant events of three different eras of the fur trade.
Related Websites:
2) Images of Fur Trade History http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Gorge/7186/pnw_posts.htm
3) Fur Trade (Canada Hall) http://www.cmcc.muse.digital.ca/cmc/cmceng/ca12eng.html
4) Fur Trade in New France: Les Coureurs des Bois http://www.vmnf.civilization.ca/popul/coureurs/index-en.htm
5) Fur Trader in the Indian Territory http://www.telepath.com/erics/furtrade/fur1.html
6) Northwest Fur Traders http://www.teleport.com/~sflora/traders.htm
7) Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site http://parkscanada.pch.gc.ca/parks/alberta/Rocky_mountain_house/english/history_e.htm
 
Fur Trappers at Old West Gravesites
http://www.dimensional.com/~sgrimm/furtrapper.htm
This site has photographs and maps to the graves.
 
Mountain Men at the Museum of Westward Expansion, National Park Service
http://www.nps.gov/jeff/mus-mtnmen.htm
This site has a brief overview of mountain men and their way of life.
Similar Websites:
2) Mountain Men http://www.over-land.com/mtmen.html
3) History of Mountain Men http://www.mountainmen.com/history.htm
 
White Oak Society
http://www.whiteoak.org/index.html
This non-profit organization provides "living history" interpretations of the fur trade era within the Great Lakes region.
 
Journals, Diaries, and Letters of Mountain Men
Diaries, Narratives, and Letters
http://ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu/carrie/docs/texts/mtnmen.htm
These documents are original accounts of the Rocky Mountain fur trade. Most of these are either primary or secondary historical sources; that is, either written by, or as told by those who were actually there.
 
Library of Western Fur Trade Historical Source Documents
http://www.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/mmarch.html
These documents, diaries, narratives, and letters of the mountain men, are accounts of the Rocky Mountain fur trade during the first half of the 19th century.
 
Websites for Teachers
Reading Comprehension Questions: The North American Beaver Trade from Cobblestone Publishing
http://cobblestonepub.com/pages/compquest198206.html
These questions relate to a June 1982 article on the beaver trade.
 
rendezvous
trapping
fur
The Astorians
scout
Hudson's Bay Company
Fort Victoria
explorer
beaver
trapline
Bent's Old Fort
Rocky Mountain Fur Company
'Corps of Discovery'
trapping
Ft. William
Southwest Fur Company
Pacific Fur Companies
American Fur Company
hunter
Yampa Valley
'meet me in the green'
Brown's Park
fashion change
beaver hat
Pierre's Hole
Blackfeet
Cache la Poudre
trading post
Yellowstone
castoreum
Cache Valley
stream
'Coulter's Hell'
Ft. Bridger
voyageur
Ft. Hall
trap
Jackson Hole
cache
overtrapping
animal tracks
pelt
 
  
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/00. Updated by King Family, 11/04.