View Full Version : rebel started it

10-18-2008, 08:28 PM
and i'll continue it, ha now that i've got your attention here we go
in my thread what are you currently reading rebel paraphrases the book the mountain men and he brought up a point that was in the back of my mind but never really came to light until now, he mentioned antagonistic indians and i got to thinking how some of us find the woods challenging enough and thats w/o adding bears which every one seems to deem a big threat but are they any worse then four or five hundred years ago/.I have seen threads about dealing with two legged predators and such in the bush but what happens if you had to live and survive in the bush and worry about other waring factions think jerimiah johnson at the end of the movie, how do you think you would do if you had to be that tactical and make a living and keep your scalp?
thanks rebel for inspiring me

chiye tanka
10-18-2008, 11:25 PM
Gotta agree with rebel. At that point, it comes down to tactics.

10-19-2008, 02:59 AM
I would agree with Rebel also, If you couldn't adapt to it you would't survive, I think your mindset would have to be more instinctive,predetor or prey mentality. I just finished The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania and it was beyond brutal , yet somehow they put their fear aside and life went on. I've thought of this before but woodcraft and survival was more or less common knowledge needed to know just for day to day existance.

10-19-2008, 08:11 AM
ok everyone said mental attitude will get you thru it,woodland you mentioned "they". A group mentallity is easier than being hunted alone, knowing you have others to count on is a huge boost easier security watches and better chances at food plus the one thing most hiumans need and thats companionship, but being alone for months at a time in hostile territory would be extremely draining, makes those men all that more awesome for what they did here in the americas, food for thought my friends

10-19-2008, 08:16 AM
Or psychotic? Perhaps they couldn't function around other people. Perhaps they had to be alone. Perhaps they had others with them even when they were alone. Folks then were little different than today. Some were bright and inventive. Some were average and some were just whacked out. Mental illness existed back then, too.

10-19-2008, 08:23 AM
if that were the case maybe you should post in the do you have what it takes thread

10-19-2008, 08:24 AM
I did but I don't get your point.

10-19-2008, 08:26 AM
uh r e r e a d y o u r p o s t u p a b o v e

10-19-2008, 08:28 AM
but being alone for months at a time in hostile territory would be extremely draining, makes those men all that more awesome for what they did here in the americas, food for thought my friends

Insert my post here. Better?

10-19-2008, 08:34 AM
oh man ( shakes head exhales deep breathe) i thought typing slowly would help but i'll be a little more clear ( proffesor hmm really) look at post number six( geez its simple really) any other questions you have my phone number and i'll have little brown dog explain it to ya

10-19-2008, 10:54 AM
I don't think someone who was really whacked-out could perform for long with the adversity that they faced every day. I would bet many folks tried and few succeeded in this business.

Are you talking about being in the fur business?

10-19-2008, 11:12 AM
I could think of hundreds of businesses today that are "alot" tougher than trapping beavers. I think skinning a mink would be joyful in comparison to what I did to build my business in the earlier years. I know what you are saying but they did what they had to do to survive and feed their families....wether it be farming or trapping. JMO

10-19-2008, 12:25 PM
"Always be prepared-perpare all ways".

10-19-2008, 12:55 PM
@ Bragg - Well, you weren't being shot at or attacked, either.

@ all - My only point is we fantasize about the men, how tough they were and how successful they were but we tend to forget about the ones the didn't make it (or just don't know about them). There's no reason that being crazy and tough can't go together. I think you just might be a little touched or anti-social or whatever to go traipsing off into the mountains alone. You certainly don't have to be and I'm not suggesting that everyone is. I'm just suggestion some are and some were then.

I've posted on this before, too. There was a demarcation line in then Indiana Territory where the "white" man lands ended and "Indian territory" began. Generally along the Wabash River and slightly into present day Vincennes, Indiana and southeastern Illinois. By treaty, any white man caught by indians past that point got exactly what they deserved. That's the way the treaty is written. For your edification...

"Settlers coming into Illinois risked their lives to secure land. Outside the French areas in the American Bottoms and the area along the west bank of the Wabash River, across from Vincennes, lands were unavalable for settlement. "By proclamation, by treaty, by ordinance, and by military mission - the rest of Illinois belonged to the Indiana. Moreover, any retaliation the Indian elected to use was authorized. For example, in the Treaty of Greenville (1795), Article VI, the following is clearly stated:

"If any citizen of the United States, or any other white person or persons, shall presume to settle upon lands now relinquished by the United States, such citizen or other pserson shall be out of the protection of the United States; and the Indiana tribe, on whose land the settlement shall be made, may drive off the settler, or punish him in such a manner as they shall think fit; and because such settlements made without the consent of the United States shall be at liberty to break them up and remove them and punish the settlers as they think proper, and so effect that protections of the Indian lands before stipulated."

In 1783 a coalition of thirty-five Indian tribes was formed. They declared war on the American settlers who had invaded their lands. Among those making raids in Illinois were the Miami, Wabash, Kickapoo, and the Potawatomi for the scalps of Americans. During this period of anarchy in Illinois, the settlers lived in what might be termed a "war zone". On May 23, 1790, some forty-six residents of the Fort of the Grand Ruisseau sent a petition to Governor St. Calir, depicting the grim condition in which the settlers were attempting to survive:

"We, your petitioners, beg leave to represent to your excellenty the ... circumstances of a number of distressed but faithful subjects of the United States of America, wherein we wish to continue ... but unless our principal grievance can be removed ... we shall despair of holding a residence in the state we love.

The Indians, who have not failed one year in four past to kill our people, steal our horses, and at times have killed or drove off numbers of our horned cattle, render it impossible for us to live in the country any way but in forts of villages, which we find sickly in the Mississippi bottom (present day St. Louis)."

Rober Lemon, the oldest son of James Sr., writing in 1830, related this vivid account of living conditions:

"My father with a few others, perhaps not exceeding twelve Families, were under the necessity of collecting in a Small Fort (called Piggotts Fort) about nine miles below Cahokia (Illinois. East of St. Louis), at the foot of the Bluff, adjoining the Mississippi Bottom as a safeguard against the hostility of the Indian Tribes, whose murderous arms wer uplifted against us ... The Tomahawk and scalping knife were our continual dread, to use the words of the Phophet Jeremiah, we gat our bread by the peril of our lives because of the sword of the Wilderness, thus it was with the greatest difficulty we procurred the necessaries of life. laboring with one hand while in the other we held a weapon of defence. Our food & rament being of the coarest kind, and scanty, withal.

Our currency consisted of deer-skins; three pounds being equal to one dollar in silver, and was lawful tender; our amusements were the contemplation of better days."

Why did these men move west you ask? Some for religious reasons. Still others had their own...

From the journal of William Hickman (1747-1834)

"In the beginning of the year 1776, I heard of a new country called Kentucky, my circumstances being low in this world and having a yourng and growing family of children, I concluded, like Abraham of Old, to go and see for myself, although it was a great undertaking. On the 23rd of February 1776, I started from home with five others ... It is too tedious to name everything that transpired in our disagreeable journey; we had to travel in small and miserable tracks, over mud and logs and high water; before we got to the Cumberland River we met three or four men turning back, like poor cowards, and no doubt like the ten spies of Canaan, carried back an evil report." (1)

So it was for monetary reward and for the sake of the family that many moved west into new terrirtory.

(1) Harvest Time on the Prairie by Myron D. Dillow. A History of Baptists in Illinois, 1796-1996.

10-19-2008, 02:49 PM
@ Bragg - Well, you weren't being shot at or attacked, either.

True enough, I was thinking more on the lines "after the settlement". Good point Rick.

10-19-2008, 03:43 PM
Well, let's see. They had to stay inside a false atmosphere and travel nearly 239,000 miles and back on one engine with no refuel stops and only the oxygen they could carry with them. Uh, yea. That sounds pretty crazy to me. Sort of like volunteering to serve on a boat that's designed to sink or jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft. Something wrong with that whole concept in my book.

10-19-2008, 07:14 PM
I stand corrected. (Have to stand, can't sit down).

Lewis and Clark Expedition Day 1 -

All right, men. Here's the plan. We're going to march into those mountains and spend the entire summer trapping and hunting and charting a trail West to the big waters.

Are there wild animals?

I would hope so. That's what we're trapping and hunting.

Are there Indians?

I don't know. I suppose. We'll have to pack everything we need.

In a pack?


On our back?

Yes! On our back. Food, ammunition, trapping supplies, everything.

I'm not going.

But look at the adventure. The thrill of a new frontier.

Do you know how heavy a pack is?

What say you men? Are you with me?

(Everyone looks around the room at each other. One man in the back raises his hand)

Sir? Do we get over time?

(Head slap and groan)

10-19-2008, 07:53 PM
"Always be prepared-perpare all ways".

well that confirms it you are the genious i thaught use was

10-19-2008, 10:48 PM
I just finished Crow Killer, the biography of Liver Eating Johnson, aka, John Johnston, aka Diepak Abosrka, aka Jerimiah Johnson.

To survive as a mountain man, you needed cunning, a good sense of smell, excellant tracking skills, excellant fighting skills, excellant shooting skills, and a whole lots of LUCK!

Many trapped in pairs, if they were free trappers. When trapping companies went out, it was like a platoon, you had your cooks, your trappers, your hunters, your skinners, etc. It was not unusual for a trapping party to be 15 plus men.

Now, free trappers, diff. story. They trapped usually in pairs or maybe a threesome. In the threesome, one would usually keep the camp, the boot, the other two would hit the trap lines. If it was two, then they would trap together or sometimes go their sep. ways and meet up down the road. Then split the haul.

Indians played a big part in losing your furs, horses, scalp, and life. The Crows were well known as friends. Well, until a few young bucks screw up and throw the tribe into war. The mountain men knew the tribes by areas and knew to keep watch. It was not un common to take turns at night on watch, gun ready.

Mountain men were sometimes pretty evil. Look at Johnson, he made war on the Crows for killing his wife and unborn child. He ate their livers, yet he was not the only one. There were many others that would cut out the eyes of indians, skin them, cut them up, cut off their ears, before they even died. Now, the indians did the same thing as it was believed that to cut your enemy up in pieces, meant that he would not make it to the other world as a whole man or as powerful.

That's just dealing with indians, then you have the critters. Not to mention if you were a trapper, a trap springing on your hand or foot, breaking bone, infecting skin, and the trapper dying of infections.

The mountain men also needed to know herbs for healing and eating.

You could know all this information, have killed many indians, have a partner and like Big Antoine, be shot in the head by an indian in waiting.

If you broke your leg or legs, you were as good as dead in the winter. In the summer, you better be walking by the winter.

It's easy to romantisize the Mountian Man, what with movies like Jerimiah Johnson and The Mountain Men, yet even in those movies, death comes easily.

I would like to think that I would have done well, but you never know. You could be the most skilled woodsman, best shot, best indian fighter, and walk around a bend in the creek and meet face to face with a grizzly. The end.

Or, you could have been the biggest greenhorn around and just lucky as all get out.

Your destiny is already planned, your choice is just how to get there.

10-19-2008, 10:53 PM
Great post, I enjoyed that.

Gray Wolf
10-20-2008, 11:23 AM
I would like to think that I would have done well, but you never know.

You'd do well pilgrim...

10-20-2008, 08:02 PM
I, on the other hand, would have been a dandy. A snake oil salesman or a gambler. Hopefully, the hardest decision I would have to make for the day was whether or not to try for the inside straight.

10-21-2008, 07:49 PM
frank -free grazer is what i think of open range i can hear the accent now
rick- i think of josey wales leaning over and spitting chaw on the carpet bagger

10-21-2008, 07:57 PM
FVR, I've had a good destiny. Had to push a little here and there.

10-21-2008, 08:11 PM
WE - chaw washes off. Bear bites, scalpings and broken bones don't.;) Carpet beggar. Yep, that's what I'll be.