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Rocky Mountain Rendezvous: A History of The Fur Trade 1825 - 1840 Paperback – March 2, 2005
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Carefully crafted and compiled from primary sources, Rocky Mountain Rendezvous includes fascinating text by Fred R. Gowans accompanied by firsthand accounts of the rendezvous from scientists, artists, military personnel, government explorers, and missionaries. The descriptions are illustrated with maps, photographs, and drawings.
"For fur-trade scholars the book is important as a guide to rendezvous sites. For casual readers or newcomers to Western history, it serves as a fine introduction to a hard time in a hard country--a time that today is covered with a patina of romance." --The American West
"Gowans clearly knows the lore of the Rocky Mountain beaver trade." --Western American Literature
Fred R. Gowans, one of the leading scholars of the American fur trade, has honed his craft for over forty years. As professor of history and chair of the Native American Studies program at Brigham Young University, he researched and interpreted every facet of western expansion. He is a renowned lecturer, teacher, and mentor of new generations of researchers.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gowans describes each rendezvous that occurred, from the first in 1825 on Henry's Fork in southwest Wyoming to the last in 1840 at the often-selected Green River site near Daniel, Wyoming. Who was there, what business was conducted, impressions and incidents are all dealt with, many as revealed in journals and diaries of the participants. The famous Pierre's Hole fight with the Blackfeet as the 1832 rendezvous was breaking up is recounted in detail, as is the time Jim Bridger had an arrowhead removed from his back by Dr. Marcus Whitman at the 1835 gathering on the Green.
Gowans is particularly interested in locating the exact spot of each rendezvous as best as can be determined by contemporary accounts. For many of them he shows a map and photographs of what the site looks like today. The book also indexes all the names mentioned in the text, and contains a fairly detailed bibliography as well. The yearly rendezvous was fur trader and entrepreneur William Ashley's invention, a brilliant idea, and Gowans focuses on their actual locations and tells what went on at each one in this informative and entertaining book. Highly recommended.
and sheep were food !! along with dogs, cats, snakes, and ANYTHING that moved.
Even the soles of your moccasins were up for dinner if you got desperate enough !!
The country was young and unspoiled, the men were as tough as the indians, and scalped THEM , as well as any enemies, you had to fight just to "keep your hair"
This is a must have volume for fur trade buffs !!
There were two main types of mountain men, the company man and the free agent. Still, both company men and free agents operated through the company rendezvous system that sprang up to cater to their needs, and their companies'.
The company man worked for one of the fur companies, and he had to accept whatever price they would give him for his furs. The company man also often found himself taking orders from company representatives and agents, either by telling him where to go or which specific furs to focus upon. The free agent was beholden to none but the market, and could seek out the best price he could find.
The price of the furs was often set by the company, and at lower-than-market rates. At the first rendezvous held in 1825, William H. Ashley of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company paid $3.00 for a pound of beaver furs to men that had been working for him for some time, and $2.00 per pound to those who joined him around 1822-1823, most likely because or a prearranged agreement.
Those mountain men that were able to operate as free agents, however, received $5.00 per pound. Based on the amount of furs that came out of the first rendezvous, we can determine that one fur weighed about 1.64 pounds, and was worth $4.92 if sold at $3.00 per pound. Free agents were therefore getting $8.20 for the same work that company men were doing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While I live in the era of Obama I wish I could have seen the honesty and the great west before it was corrupted by men. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Eric
limited in scope. just about rendezvous history. It was a good read.Published 14 months ago by Robert Divine
Very good book, loved the references it made in journals and other first hand accounts - color pictures would be better but black and white were adequatePublished on April 3, 2013 by Keith Hickam