The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 330
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Etienne Provot, William L. Sublette, Jim Bridger, Kenneth Mc-
Kenzie, Johnson Gardner, and other great traders and mountain
men. But little space is given to his white companions, however.
Beckwourth is the hero of his own stories and he does not pro-
pose to share the stage with rivals.
About 1826 or 1827 he was adopted by the Crow Indians. He
says that a fellow trapper made the Crows believe that he
(Beckwourth) had been born a Crow, had been taken captive and
reared by the white pople, and had now returned to live with his
Indian kinsmen. At any rate Jim became a Crow warrior and
his Indian parents never found cause to be ashamed of him. He
became a leader and chief and (according to his own account)
was finally made head-man of all the Crow tribe. No genuine
Crow ever slew more Blackfeet than he. The Crows were friendly
to the whites, however, and Beckwourth kept more or less in touch
with the white traders during the nine or ten years he spent with
the red men.
After an absence of some twelve years-he says fourteen-
Beckwourth returned to St. Louis, but he soon was away in
Florida carrying despatches for the army in the war against the
Seminoles. The everglades were uninteresting to a man who had
spent so many years in the land of the Snake, the Yellowstone
and the Big Horn, and he returned to the Indian trade-this
time among the Cheyennes along the Arkansas and Platte. Later
he carried despatches for the United States army during the Mex-
ican war, prospected for gold in California, and finally, in 1852,
became the keeper of a hotel and trading-post in the Feather
River country of California. It seems that Bonner took down
Beckwourth's story at this place in the winter of 1854-'55, deco-
rating it no doubt with heroines and love stories taken from the
novels of that day. It was published in 1856.
These are the facts which the critics generally accept and which
form the framework of Beckwourth's narrative. Students of the
fur trade will always find it necessary to examine his book. The
customs of trapper and trader, the business practices of the fur
companies, and the curse of the Indian liquor trade are some of
the topics he deals with in a forceful and fairly accurate way.
His personal narrative is highly flavored with fiction. Some
achievements attributed to himself are obviously borrowed from
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/334/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.