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John Colter: His Years in the Rockies Paperback – March 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
Harris's book is probably the definitive book on Colter, despite its 1952 publication date (in 1977 he added a chapter with updated information which doesn't add to or change much of the original work). It is historically detailed and soundly written and is a superb account of Colter's life and adventures. Highly recommended.
This book is an entertaining and fast read. Read it with a grain of salt as little is know about the Colter. Make sure to read the introduction as it corrects some important errors in Harris's book. I disagree with the reviewer who says this book is a waste of time. It isn't. This is an ambitious work about an important explorer about whom next to nothing is known. There are no historic documents to source other than the ones Harris used. By default half of what he says has to be speculation.
Really, I wish I would've paid much more attention to other people's comments before I purchased this book.
For instance, did you know that John Colter was one of the original Ashley Hundred, the men that joined with him in the fur trade after he put an advertisment into the Missouri newspapers in 1822? Jim Bridger, Mike Fink, and Hugh Glass were some other notables of that historic group, and this book talks about them.
Where our educations often leave off regarding those who made the dangerous journey is where this book picks up with the tale of one of the more amazing figures from it, John Colter.
On Lewis & Clarks' return trip Colter takes an Honorable Discharge at a Mandan Indian Village and stays behind in the west. Colter gets to the core of his own discoveries by being the first white man to find what we know today as Yellowstone Park. If he wasn't the first then he was at least one who was documented, Imagine anyone's surprise at finding bubbling mud, steaming geysers, and land that creaked and groaned under your feet with no postcards to show that you been there.
In the book you'll find out how he barely escaped from the Blackfeet Indians three times in one year. One of the most harrowing escapes you'll probably recognize from the movie The Mountain Men (great movie, by the way!) starring Charlton Heston and Brian Keith. The escape also formed the foundation for Cornel Wilde's movie, The Naked Prey (another great movie).
Colter's exploits in the Montana-Wyoming area from 1806 on were extraordinary and show how Lewis & Clark were lucky to have him on their expedition.
Colter died of jaundice in his early 40s (Eh, maybe. Nobody really knows his exact birthdate so we're left to guess his final age).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative if not tedious. Full of facts and research information. Not a great story. Did I say tedious???Published 4 days ago by Wayne
I bought it for my son but I read this book years ago, and liked it then.Published 2 months ago by darby21
Well written historical account of true "mountain man". Great story but just a shame that more details of his life are not known.Published 4 months ago by HARRY BLAKE GARDNER
Don't waste your money. Contains very little information about Colter. It mostly reiterates the Lewis and Clark expeditionPublished 13 months ago by gerry623