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Beckwourth, James Pierson (Jim; also Beckwith)

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Born: 1798 AD
Died: 1867? AD.

Nationality: American
Categories: Explorer

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1798 - Born in April 26th in Virginia. American mountain man who lived for an extended period among the Indians.

1810 - His father took him to Louisiana Territory and eventually to St. Louis and there apparently manumitted him, for he was thereafter regarded as a “free Negro”.

1823 - Beckwourth signed on as a groom with a fur-trading expedition.

1824 - He was hired to handle the horses on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

1833 - He returned to white settlements, apparently abandoning his Indian wives.

1848 - He established a route through the Sierras for Easterners en route to California after gold was discovered there.

1855 - Began ranching, mostly with stolen horses, until he was chased out by vigilantes.

1856 - He encountered a wandering journalist, Thomas D. Bonner, who recorded many of the frontiersman's yarns and recollections in a book that made his subject famous for a time: The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians.

1859 - He returned to Missouri but soon joined the flood of settlers bound for Colorado.

1864 - He served, probably as a guide and interpreter for U.S. troops, in the Cheyenne War, then settled near Denver.

1867 - Died on Denver, Colorado.

         - His death during a visit to the Crow is variously described as occurring on a hunting trip or by poison at the hands of a former wife.

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Page last updated: 11:30pm, 04th Jul '07