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Explorers, Trappers, Traders & Mountain Men - J-K

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David Edward Jackson (1790-1837) - Pioneer, explorer, trader and fur trapper Jackson was born in Randolph County, West Virginia in 1790 and spent his early life west of the Shenandoah Mountains. He participated in the Battle of new Orleans in the War of 1812 In the spring of 1822, he responded to an ad in the St. Louis Enquirer for a job with William Ashley's fur company. While in present-day  South Dakota, Arikara warriors attacked the expedition on June 2, 1823. The U.S. Army retaliated in what is now known as Arikara War, the first  military conflict between the United States and the western Native Americans. In 1826, he and two other fur trappers, Jedediah Smith and William Sublette, bought out Ashley's operations and Jackson then managed part of the business. In 1828-29, Jackson wintered among the Flathead Indians and explored the area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is named for him.


By 1830, Jackson, Smith and Sublette had made a good profit and sold the company to the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. with the same partners, Jackson then entered the Santa Fe Trail trade, reaching New Mexico in July, 1831, after Jedidiah Smith had been killed by Comanche Indians. He then traveled onto California before returning to Missouri. Ailing, he lived in Paris, Tennessee, where he died on December 24, 1837.




Charles Keemle (1800-1865) - Born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in October, 1800, Keemle grew up to become a journalist. He moved briefly to Vincennes, Indiana, before heading to St. Louis, Missouri in 1817. He joined the Missouri Fur Company in 1820 and was soon trapping on the Yellowstone River. On May 31, 1823, he barely survived a Blackfoot Indian attack that killed seven and and wounded four other trappers. Later, that year, he took part in Colonel Henry Leavenworth’s indecisive attack on the Arikara Indians. That winter, he wintered with Crow Indians before returning to civilization for good. He died at St. Louis, Missouri on September 28, 1865.

James Kipp (1788-1880) - Born in 1788 near Montreal Canada, little is known of his early years, but by the time he was 20, he had entered the fur trade in the Red River region, probably working for the North West Company. By 1818 he was working in the Upper Missouri River region, and four years later was working for the Columbia Fur Company. That company was bought out by the American Fur Company in 1827 to which Kipp then joined. In 1831 Kipp went to the Marias River and built Fort Piegan, Montana the first post in the Blackfoot territory. He married a Mandan princess named Earth Woman, and was said to have been the only white man to master the Mandan language. The couple would have one son, Joseph Kipp, who would also grow up to be a fur trader, as well as a scout. He also allegedly married several other Indian wives as well as a white woman, with whom he had several children who lived on a farm near Independence, Missouri. He retired in the early 1860s and returned to Missouri. He died at the age of 93 and is buried at Parkville, Missouri.



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