Mountain Man Research Paper
The outdoorsman way of life is one of the simplest, yet difficult ways to live and is the oldest. Everybody’s ancestors were hunters and gatherers. The Mountain man way of life is almost extinct; however there are still people who live this primitive life.
The Mountain man needed very distinct characteristics and skills to be able to survive in the harsh climates they generally inhabited. They needed tenacity, and the desire to leave the metropolitan areas most people inhabit compared with the skills needed to make some money. Luckily for William Henry Ashley, he had these things; He was originally in the mining business making saltpeter (used to make gun powder) but things took a political turn when he was “elected Lieutenant …show more content…
Ashley who had led two failed attempts resulting in him being 100,000 dollars in debt had an unquenchable thirst for prosperity in fur trading and followed his partners food steps, “He left from Fort Atkinson on the Missouri River north of present-day Omaha on November 3, 1824 with a party of 25 men, 50 pack horses and a number of horse-drawn wagons” (“William Henry Ashley”). He headed south down the Platte River in high spirits after his partners report of success but those feelings quickly retreated to feelings of hopelessness when he had to abandon the wagons and almost all the horses, in the brutal winter that had commandeered Wyoming. After traversing through the perilous yet vibrant snowy woods the men found themselves in jeopardy; exhausted and near death in fact “They would have died of starvation if they had not been welcomed by Pawnee tribesmen near the fork of the North and South Platte Rivers in western Nebraska” (“William Henry Ashley”). The term “Pawnee” is a Sioux word meaning horn, which refers to the “distinctive hairstyle of the Pawnee warriors, who coated their hair with thick grease and paint so that it stood up and curved like a horn” (“Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes” 1). Pawnee was thought of as a highly spiritual tribe that wasn’t hostile. They viewed the sun and the stars as god like and used them as their compass. After resting in the Pawnee village Ashley decided to move on and head further west where they met up and joined a group of French trappers. They traveled all the way up to where the Green River meets Henrys fork in southern Wyoming where they traded their furs with the Ute