Life of a Beaver Trapper 1967
Journal of a Trapper: Or, Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843
As a Mountain Man, Osborne Russell was quite ordinary. He was not a leader, he did not become wealthy, nor did he add to the geographic knowledge of Western North America. What does make Russell unique is that he was a keen observer, and he kept, and managed to preserve a journal, which documents his experience in the mountains from to Except for a few comments, the journal does not describe the economic and political upheavals through which the fur trade was passing during this period. The journal does, however, provide us with a glimpse into the everyday life of the Mountain Man, the foods they ate, the types of shelter they used, how a fur brigade traveled and operated, and how life changed with the seasons.
Osborne Russell's narrative takes place in the years to , when he travels and traps beaver in the northern area of the Rocky Mountains. Much of the area, including the famous natural springs and geysers is presently in Yellowstone National Park. The overland party arrives for the yearly rendezvous in July of Wyeth builds Fort Hall on the Snake River to trade for beaver skins, which is where Russell begins his service. In the beginning, Russell has to learn how to trap beaver and kill the wild game of the area, from buffalo to grizzly bears. Russell meets friendly Snake Indians and soon learns much of their language.
After high school graduation in Seattle, he entered the College of Technology of the University of Washington College Technology in and received a B. He began work as a Yellowstone National Park park ranger in In succeeding years he left the park for military service and then for post graduate work, receiving an M. In he was transferred back to Yellowstone Park as assistant park engineer. In he was promoted to the new position of park historian until his retirement in He did research on the national park idea for the National Park Service, , and did contract research for the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation on historic sites along the Oregon Trail, In Haines married C.
Osborne Russell — August 2, was a mountain man and politician who helped form the government of the U. He was born in Maine. Russell first came to the Oregon Country in as a member of Nathaniel J.
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