By the 17th of July the whiskey kegs were all empty, and the wild celebration which invariably climaxed every rendezvous of the fur traders perforce came to an end in Pierre’s Hole. On this day the combined companies of Nathaniel Wyeth and Milton Sublette set out for the lower Snake River. On the morning of the 18th they described a column of Gros Ventre tribesmen descending a hillside, “fantastically painted and arrayed, with scarlet blankets fluttering in the wind.” The ensuing conflict was a victory for the trappers. Some of the Indians escaped from their improvised fort into Jackson’s Hole, leaving perhaps twenty-six of their number dead, while their trail of blood suggested other heavy casualties.
For a few years after Stuart’s party disappeared up Hoback Canyon, the Tetons and Jackson’s Hole were left in solitude. Due to the hostility of the Blackfeet, the loss of Astoria in the War of 1812, and the indifference of the Federal Government, American interest in the Western Fur trade suffered a relapse. British interests now took the initiative. In 1816 the Northwest Company, licensed by the Crown to trade in Oregon, put Donald McKenzie in charge of the Snake River division. From Fort Nez Perce at the mouth of the Walla Walla, he set forth in September of 1818 at the head of an expedition “composed of fifty-five men, of all denominations, 195 horses and 300 beaver traps, besides a considerable stock of merchandise.”
At the 1827 rendezvous at Bear Lake Jedediah Smith appeared like a ghost out of the Great Salt desert, reporting that the Spanish Governor of California had expelled him from that province. He arranged with his partners, Jackson and Sublette, to meet two years hence “at the head of Snake River.” Then, after a rest of only ten days, he summoned volunteers and again set his face toward the Pacific Ocean. In the winter of 1827-28, while Sublette attended to the business of getting supplies from St. Louis, Jackson sent fur brigades north from Bear Lake to the Snake River and its tributaries, where they came in frequent contact with the Hudson’s Bay Company trappers under Ogden. In 1828 the rendezvous was again Great Salt Lake, and again the trappers dispersed to hunting grounds on the Bear, the Snake, and the Green.
In 1808 John Jacob Astor secured a charter from the state of New York creating the American Fur Company. The most ambitious of his schemes was the establishment 26of a trading post at the mouth of the Columbia River, to exploit the wealth of the Northwestern wilderness. To promote this enterprise, Astor organized the subsidiary Pacific Fur Company and sent out two expeditions, one of which went by sea around Cape Horn, while the other was to proceed overland along the route of Lewis and Clark. The overland Astorians achieved fame as the first transcontinental expedition after Lewis and Clark, but fate decreed that they should blaze their own trail—through Jackson’s Hole.
Three significant events occurred in connection with the rendezvous of 1834.
(1) En route from St. Louis, Sublette and Campbell began the building of Fort Laramie (originally Fort William) on the North Platte.
(2) Nathaniel Wyeth, embarking on a second venture, brought in trade goods which were not accepted, and so resorted to the establishment of Fort Hall near the junction of the Snake and Portneuf. The advent of these two fixed trading posts prophesied an end to the traditional rendezvous system. Also
(3), at the rendezvous the partnership of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company was dissolved, Fraeb and Gervais selling out their interests. The remaining partners—Fitzpatrick, Bridger, and Milton Sublette—formed a new firm, but they made an agreement with Fontenelle which gave the American Fur Company a virtual monopoly of the Rocky Mountain fur trade.
Green River Knife
The extent of the wanderings of this trio is not known. In the spring of 1807 Colter alone paddled a canoe down the Missouri to the mouth of the Platte where he found keelboats of the Missouri Fur Company of St. Louis, led by Manuel Lisa. He was promptly recruited and went with this expedition up the Missouri and the Yellowstone to the 14mouth of the Bighorn River, where Lisa built a log fort known as Fort Raymond or Manuel’s Fort.
Marcus Whitman removing arrow from Jim Bridger
Rocky Mountain men setting traps
Trapper train in Teton Pass
The rendezvous of 1826 took place near Great Salt Lake. The turnover of furs was immense and, having made his fortune, General Ashley sold his interests to three of his most able employees, Jedediah Smith, David E. Jackson, and William Sublette. Smith left the rendezvous to lead a band southwest across the desert to the Spanish settlements of California, being the first to make this perilous passage. Jackson and Sublette headed for the Snake River country to trade with the Flatheads, taking a large force of trappers.
Trappers at Old Faithful
Facsimile of original Seal of the Plymouth Colony. It disappeared during the administration of Sir Edmund Andros, who, in 1686 was sent by King James to rule over the Dominion of New England. It has never been recovered.
After a tempestuous voyage of sixty-six days, refuge was taken in Cape Cod harbor (Provincetown) on November 21st, 1620.
From here exploring parties set out in the shallop (small boat) to locate a suitable home site and on December 21st a landing was made at Plymouth, the Mayflower following on December 26th. And here a permanent settlement was established.
On the 15th of August, 1620, both vessels left Southampton, but the Speedwell proving unseaworthy, they were obliged to return, putting into the harbor of Dartmouth for repairs. A second attempt resulted in abandoning the Speedwell at Plymouth, from which port the Mayflower sailed alone on the 16th of September.
Gov. Carver’s Chair in Pilgrim Hall Museum
Located in garden in rear of Pilgrim Hall. Gift of the General Society Daughters of the Revolution
The oldest stones in order of dates on the hill are those of:
Edward Grey 1681
William Crowe 1683-4
Hannah Clark 1687
Thomas Cushman 1691
Thomas Clark 1697
The children of John and Josiah Cotton 1699
The stone of Nathaniel Thomas 1697
This is how the replica of the original Pilgrim settlement will look when finished.
Mayflower II is shown at its permanent anchorage in lower left center.
A guide map showing principal streets and historic shrines.
A CUTAWAY DRAWING of the original Mayflower by John Seamans of Weymouth, Mass., from plans drawn by William A. Baker, Hingham marine architect and authority on ancient ships.
1 Main Deck
3 Upper Deck
4 Main Hatch
7 Bosun’s Stores
9 Sail Store
10 Crew’s Quarters
11 Main Hold
13 General Stores
14 Water Barrels
18 Radio Room—A radio for the crossing was required by law.
19 Chart House
20 Steering Position
21 Gun Port
22 Main Deck
23 Upper Deck
24 Quarter Deck
25 Poop Deck