Lewis and Clark West to the Pacific by Frank R. "Bob" Davenport.
Photo and Copyright held by:
Lewis and Clark
Trail Heritage Foundation
story of America's exploration goes back for centuries, beginning with the
Vikings' visiting Newfoundland in about 1000 A.D., followed by
Spanish and French explorers, and
continuing through England's colonization of the Atlantic coast in the
17th century. After the foundation was laid for the United States of
America, frontiersmen, trappers, and traders pushed westward. Beyond these
men, numerous more followed, looking for fame and fortune in the vast
Many of these explorers and frontiersmen were the first non-Indians to see the vast regions of the American West. Leaving civilization behind and following rivers, crossing great plains, and scaling mountains, these
men paved the way for the many pioneers and fortune seekers who followed in their footsteps.
The history of the
trade is filled with stories of adventure, daring, and savage warfare.
Competition was stiff in the
fur trade and not only were they involved in
hostilities with the
Indians, upon whose land they trod, but also against
each other, competing
fur trade companies, and other countries who claimed
the land upon which they did business. Their isolated lives in the
wilderness also included extreme temperatures, blizzards, and battles with
wild beasts, many tales of which can never be known.
John C. "Grizzly" Adams (1812-1860) - A hunter,
trapper, and prospector,
Adams made fame for himself when he began to catch and
train grizzly bears.
James Aird (??-1819) - An early trapper and trader who worked on the Upper
John Davis Albert (1806-1899) - A mountain man who made his way from
Maryland to the Rocky Mountains.
Cyrus Alexander (1805-1872) - A frontiersman, Alexander was a trapper with
before becoming a miner and agricultural pioneer in
Manuel Alvarez (1794-1856) - A mountain man, trapper and trader who turned
Louis Ambroise (1801-1842) - A trapper and trader in the
Company (1808-1842) - Founded by
Jacob Astor in 1808, the American Fur
Company would become one of the largest businesses in the country at the
start of the 19th century.
Captain Juan Bautista de Anza II (1736-1788) - A Mexican-born
trailblazer and explorer, de Anza was the first person of European
descent to establish an overland trail from Mexico to the northern
Pacific coast of
William Henry Ashley (1778-1838) - Co-founder of the
Rocky Mountain Fur Company,
Ashley led a hundred men along the
River on trapping expeditions. The men became known as "Ashley's Hundred."