Pattie was a young fur trapper from Kentucky, vainly seeking his fortune in the American southwest. The Narrative describes his sometimes outrageous exploits in New Mexico, along the Gila River, and in California from 1824 to 1830. He traps beaver, fights Indians, digs for gold, and saves thousands of Mexicans during a smallpox epidemic. This is a sweeping and generally accurate saga of the southwest and California of the time. A classic, and rightfully so.
Excerpted from The Personal Narrative of James O Pattie: The True Wild West of New Mexico and California by James Ohio Pattie, Timothy Flint. Copyright © 2001. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
In June of 1824 James Ohio Pattie, then in his early 20's, left Kentucky with his father, Sylvester, and headed west. They reached Taos, New Mexico, traveled down the Rio Grande, fought with Indians, rescued two white women who had been captured by Comanches, crossed over the Mogollon Mountains (they had to eat one of their horses; later they had to eat their dogs also), and for a while ran a mine and fought more Indians for the Mexicans near Silver City.