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This Reckless Breed of Men: The Trappers and Fur Traders of the Southwest
This Reckless Breed of Men The Trappers and Fur Traders of the Southwest Author:Robert Glass Cleland Here is the dramatic story of men who "belonged to a calling that had no counterpart." The fur traders, trappers, beaver-hunters, or mountain men, says Mr. Cleland, "started from frontiers at which more cautious pioneers were glad to stop." They were men to whom "dander became a daily commonplace...who took tribute of th... more »e wilderness and wandered through the reaches of the outer West with all the freedom of the lonely wind." Before missionaries, gold-seekers, and cattlemen, this reckless breed opened pathways to the western sea. Their story is in the very bones of our history.
"Draw a huge arc from the lower reaches of the Columbia River to the valley of the Salt Lake," Mr. Cleland writes in his "Prologue." "Extend that arc to the old Spanish settlement of Santa Fe. Project the line south and west to the head of the Gulf of California and the delta of the Colorado. Carry it on to the missions and pueblos of California. Swing it back to the Columbia, through the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
...The region thus delineated, as truly as the more famous lands 'across the wide Missouri,' was the dominion of the mountain man There he set his traps, meandered his streams, fought his unrecorded battles, and left his bleaching and forgotten bones. Across that trackless waste he extended the trails to the West begun by Daniel Boone and the backwoodsmen from the valley of the Yadkin. He was the vanguard of the American advance that blazed a new Wilderness Trace to the Pacific and established the sovereignty of the United States over the empire commonly spoken of today as the 'Great Southwest.'"« less