Longhunters & Beaver Battles



mountmen3John Fremont had a bodyguard of forty Mountain Men and five Delaware Indians. John’s father-in-law, Senator Benton, was in the back pocket of John Jacob Astor who sold his holdings in the Northwest when it looked like the British army would invade in 1812, which they did. The Benton family did business with the Boone family and were Longhunters, the prototype of the Mountain Men that were employed by rival fur companies in Canada and the United States. The city of Vancouver BC, and Vancouver Washington, was Beaver Battleground. The US Government subsidized these battles for control of the fur trade. I assume the Crown did the same. Civilized folks sent wild and wooly hippie-like wild men into the wilderness in order to make a few men filthy rich. Castles in England were built upon the wholesale slaughter of the beaver. If Hippies did this, then there would be a reason to hate them. They are hated because they dare try to stop a few men from raping the land with the approval of politicians they bribed and made loans to.

The fur trade is dead. Long live hippie!

Stop being cannon fodder for the very rich.

Jon Presco

When the fur market declined in the 1840s, Walker turned to guiding settlers west, and he led many emigrant parties, and two of John C. Fremont’s expeditions, into the San Joaquin Valley by way of his now famous pass. When the Chiles family in 1843 rode the first covered wagon into California from the east, they suffered great hardships until Walker found them. Because their wagon could not withstand the rigors of desert travel, they abandoned it, and the Chiles, packing what they could onto their horses and oxen, followed Joe Walker over the pass on foot.


They arose in a natural geographic and economic expansion driven by the lucrative earnings available in the North American fur trade, in the wake of the various 1806–07 published accounts of the Lewis and Clark expeditions’ (1803–1806) findings about the Rockies and the (ownership-disputed) Oregon Country where they flourished economically for over three decades. By the time two new international treaties in early 1846 and early 1848 [1] officially settled new western coastal territories on the United States and spurred a large upsurge in migration, the days of mountain men making a good living by fur trapping had largely ended. This was partially because the fur industry was failing due to reduced demand and overtrapping. With the silk trade and quick collapse of the North American beaver-based fur trade in the later 1830s–1840s, many of the mountain men settled into jobs as Army Scouts, wagon train guides and settlers through the lands which they had helped open up. Others, like William Sublette, opened up fort-trading posts along the Oregon Trail to service the remnant fur trade and the settlers heading west.

1792: Captain George Vancouver arrived. He spent one day here, which was long enough to discover the Spanish had already claimed the place and headed off again. During the day British Captain Vancouver met with Spanish captains Valdez and Galiano and one of Vancouver’s best beaches, Spanish Banks is named for the meeting place. That’s also the same reason English Bay got its name. Note however, that the Bay is bigger than the Banks and there are a ton more streets in Vancouver named after the British. (There is a Vancouver Street but it’s, um, in New Westminster.)
1808: Simon Fraser, an explorer and fur trader arrived here following an overland route from Eastern Canada by a river he thought was the Columbia. Even though he was wrong about his travel plan the river was still named for him.
1827: Hudson’s Bay Company built a trading post on Fraser River. It was the first permanent non-native settlement in the Vancouver area. Since 1893 the company has occupied a prime location at the corner of Georgia and Granville in Vancouver’s downtown core and they’re still trading.

Although the provincial resource-based economy allowed Vancouver to flourish, it was nonetheless not immune to the vagaries of organized labour. Two general strikes were launched by labour groups during the years following the First World War, including Canada’s first general strike following the death of a trade unionist, Ginger Goodwin. Major recessions and depressions hit the city hard in the late 1890s, 1919, 1923, and 1929, which, aside from creating hardship also may have likely fuelled social tensions. In particular, members of the new and growing Asian population were subjected to discrimination as well as periodic upsurges of more physical objections to their arrival.
The most overt expression of this may have been the 1907 riots thought to have been organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League, a group formed under organized labour and inspired by its counterpart in San Francisco.[15]
But discrimination was perhaps less overt than such events suggest. It could be argued that some politicians and publicists may have promoted and disseminated controversial ideologies through popular books such as H. Glynn-Ward’s 1921 The Writing on the Wall and Tom MacInnes’s 1929 The Oriental Occupation of British Columbia. Newspapermen such as L. D. Taylor of the Vancouver World and General Victor Odlum of the Star generated a glut of editorials analyzing and warning about the “Oriental Menace,” as did Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly.[16]
This determination of British Columbians to secure B.C.’s borders [17] influenced federal politicians to pass immigration laws such as the head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act. What may be called a “climate of fear and hysteria” in the 1920s, culminated in the ‘Janet Smith case’, in which a Chinese national was accused of killing his young, white, female co-worker. The evidence for his guilt was perhaps based more on stereotyping than facts.[18]
A growing population of Indians, primarily of the Sikh religion, were also required to abide by immigration laws starting in 1908, despite the fact that they were subjects of the British Empire. This culminated in the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which most of 376 immigrants on the Komagata Maru, most of them from the Punjab in India were not permitted to disembark because they had not complied with immigration laws that required that they come by a continuous passage from their home country.
A group of residents of Indian origin rallied in support of the passengers. After losing a court challenge of the immigration laws, the ship remained in Burrard Inlet while negotiations continued concerning its departure. When negotiations dragged on, the head immigration officer in Vancouver arranged an attempt by the Vancouver police and other officials to board the ship, who were repelled by what the Vancouver Sun reported as “howling masses of Hindus”. Subsequently the federal government sent a naval ship and after concessions made by the federal Minister of Agriculture, an MP from Penticton, the ship departed. After returning to India, twenty of the passengers were shot by police in an incident after they refused to return to the Punjab.[19]


They arose in a natural geographic and economic expansion driven by the lucrative earnings available in the North American fur trade, in the wake of the various 1806–07 published accounts of the Lewis and Clark expeditions’ (1803–1806) findings about the Rockies and the (ownership-disputed) Oregon Country where they flourished economically for over three decades. By the time two new international treaties in early 1846 and early 1848 [1] officially settled new western coastal territories on the United States and spurred a large upsurge in migration, the days of mountain men making a good living by fur trapping had largely ended. This was partially because the fur industry was failing due to reduced demand and overtrapping. With the silk trade and quick collapse of the North American beaver-based fur trade in the later 1830s–1840s, many of the mountain men settled into jobs as Army Scouts, wagon train guides and settlers through the lands which they had helped open up. Others, like William Sublette, opened up fort-trading posts along the Oregon Trail to service the remnant fur trade and the settlers heading west

The Fur Trade:
“Beaver Powered Mountaineering”

In Virgin Land, Henry Nash Smith explores the legendary image of the mountain men that led easterns to believe that they were lone wanderers prowling the western desert seeking adventure and intrique. Although this was the popular conception, it was simply not the case. These men were very rough, adverturous businessmen, and they needed an economic framework, however loose and transient, to support their occupation. The furtrade and the companies that resulted from it provided the fiscal support and stability that the mountain men needed to crisscross the continent in search of adventure and profit.

There were essentially two realms of trade: The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade and the Upper Missouri. The two regions had different circumstances and hence very different methods of operating business. The Upper Missouri trade relied on the Indian tribes to bring their buffalo skins to trading posts. There, the robes were bought and sent to St. Louis via the river.

The Rocky Mountain Trapping system was quite different. In the Rockies, beaver was the fur of choice. It was trapped mainly by the Euro-American mountain men traveling in company groups. The pelts were sold at a yearly rendezvous where the buyers would travel overland to the designated site and then haul the furs via mule train and wagon to the city to be sold. This system allowed the mountain men to stay in the wilderness year round, as they did not have to travel to a trading post to sell their catch. These two systems were not sealed from one another. Depending on the terrain, available capital, and the attitude of the nearby Indian tribes, a fur company would often use both the rendezvous system and trading posts.

The first of the fur giants was the British Hudson’s Bay Company, chartered in 1670. The Hudson’s Bay Company dominated the trade of Northern Canada and the Oregon territory well into the 19th Century. The first substantial American venture was the Pacific Fur Company started by John Jacob Astor in 1810. Astor’s dream was to create a corporation that covered all of the West, starting with a fort at the mouth of the Columbia River. He sent one group by ship to build the fort and another by land to establish a useable overland route. The fort “Astoria” was erected as planned and the overland group arrived in 1811. The French North West Company was already trapping in the vicinity and provided keen competition for Astor. With the coming threat of British invasion during the War of 1812, Astor sold his fort to the North West Company for a fraction of its cost. The British did invade and take over the fort, renaming it Fort George. After the United States won the war, the post was returned to America, but not to Astor.

The American fur trade was dormant from 1814 to 1819 due to the economic and political turmoil caused by the War of 1812. The loss of Astoria and trouble with the Blackfeet Indians on the Missouri also dealt a blow to the trade. Manuel Lisa did manage to run the Missouri Fur Company from about 1807 to 1820; this group built Fort Raymond in 1807 and trapped and traded with the Indians on the Upper Missouri. In 1822, John Jacob Astor again made a debut into the fur industry by establishing the Western department of the American Fur Company in St. Louis. A year earlier, the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company had merged, resulting in British dominance of the Columbia River. Also in 1822, William Henry Ashley advertised for “one hundred young men to ascend the Missouri River to its source, there to be employed for one, two or three years.” This marked the beginning of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Though it would change hands several times, this company would innovate the industry by creating the “free trapper system” and the rendezvous.

Both Astor’s new American Fur Company and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company would be successful in creating the Rocky Mountain trading system. As both companies branched out, they would eventually compete for control of the Upper Missouri trade. The stiff competition ended with the American Company’s collapse in 1834. This was just as well. By 1834, the decline in demand for beaver hats (the fashion had turned to silk) combined with an increasing scarcity of resources (the beaver had been nearly trapped out) to weaken the market. In the early 1830’s, beaver was worth almost $6/lb in Philadelphia; by 1843 the price was not even $3/lb.

The fur companies were a central force in the lives of the mountain men. They provided the economic system and often the initial capital that was necessary to the trapper’s life. But if the fur giants helped the trapper operate, they also controlled him. The mountain man was a slave to the fur market created by the competition between companies. The amount of control a company had over a trapper depended on what contract for his services he was under. “Engages” were men that were supplied and salaried by the company. The furs which they collected were all company property. “Skin Trappers” or “Share Croppers” were outfitted by the company in exchange for a set share of the pelts at the end of the season. The “free-trapper” was at the top of this social pyramid. He was beholden to no company. He outfitted himself and trapped with whom and where he pleased. In the edited words of mountain man Joe Meek:

“They prided themselves on their hardihood and courage, even on their recklessness and profligracy. Each claimed to own the best horse; to have had the wildest adventure; to have made the most narrow escapes; to have killed the greatest number of bears and indians; to be the greatest favorite with the indian belles, the greatest consumer of alcohol, and to have the most money to spend.”

The free trapper did pay a high price for his freedom as he was at the whim of market fluctuations and he was sometimes still at the mercy of a company to give him credit at the end of a bad year.

All told, the typical trapper, though he might have a good season, or a good year, never got out of debt. It was the company owners and suppliers back in St. Louis that reaped the economic harvest of the fur trade.

American Fur Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The American Fur Company was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1808.[1] The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest businesses in the country.

The company was one the first great trusts in American business and one of the first major competitive ventures to challenge British business interests in North America. During the 18th century furs had become a major commodity in Europe and North America become a major supplier. Several British companies, most notably the Hudson’s Bay Company, capitalized on the lucrative trade in furs. When the U.S. gained its independence at the end of the 18th century, it rapidly moved to challenge British business dominance in North America, with the fur trade becoming an especially important issue. Astor’s company was able to capitalize on the young nation’s anti-British sentiments to take over many formerly British fur-trapping regions and trade routes. It was thus able to expand very rapidly and successfully.

Unfortunately for the company, demand for furs in Europe began to decline during the early 1800s leading to the stagnation of the fur trade by the mid 19th century. Competition among fur suppliers became fierce. The American Fur Company ultimately ceased trading in 1847.

[hide] 1 History 1.1 Creation
1.2 Subsidiaries
1.3 Decline

2 Influence
3 See also
4 References

History [edit]

Creation [edit]

After receiving a charter from New York City, Astor established the American Fur Company on April 8, 1808.[2]:167 The original plan for the company was to establish a trading post at the mouth of the Columbia River, send an annual supply ship from New York City to the post, then take fur from the post to China, where it would be traded for goods to be sold in New York.[2]:167 Astor also hoped to trade with other posts along the coast of the Pacific Northwest, including Russian outposts of the Russian-American Company.[2]:167 From the beginning, Astor formed subsidiaries of the American Fur Company to manage the company’s business in these areas.[2]:168

Subsidiaries [edit]

The South West Company handled the Midwestern fur trade, while the Pacific Fur Company dealt with operations in Oregon Country. The early operations of the company often competed with the great Canadian and British fur trading companies: the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. During the War of 1812, many of the American Fur Company’s trading posts were lost to the British; those in the Pacific Northwest, including Astoria, were sold to the North West Company.

For a time it seemed that the company had been destroyed, but following the war, the United States passed a law excluding foreign traders from operating on U.S. territory. This freed the American Fur Company from having to compete with the Canadian and British companies. The AFC competed fiercely among American companies to establish a monopoly in the Great Lakes region and the Midwest. In the 1820s the AFC expanded its monopoly into the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. To achieve control of the industry, the company bought out or beat out many smaller competitors. By 1830, the AFC had nearly complete control of the fur trade in the United States.

The company’s time at the top of America’s business world was short-lived. Sensing the eventual decline of fur’s popularity in fashion, John Jacob Astor withdrew from the company in 1834. The company split up, and the Pacific Fur Company became independent. The Midwestern outfit would continue to be called the American Fur Company, and was then led by Ramsay Crooks. To cut down on expenses, the company began closing many of its trading posts.

Decline [edit]

Through the 1830s, competition began to resurface. At the same time, the availability of furs in the Midwest declined. During this period, the Hudson’s Bay Company began an effort to destroy the American fur companies from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver. By depleting furs in the Snake River country and underselling the American Fur Company at the annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, the HBC effectively ruined American fur trading efforts in the Rocky Mountains.[3] By the 1840s, silk was replacing fur for hats as the clothing fashion in Europe. The company was unable to cope with all these factors. Despite efforts to increase profits by diversifying into other industries like lead mining, the American Fur Company folded. The assets of the company were split into several smaller operations, most of which failed by the 1850s.

Influence [edit]

During its heyday, the American Fur Company was one of the largest enterprises in the United States and held a total monopoly of the lucrative fur trade in the country. The company provided the income for the land investments that catapulted John Jacob Astor to the position of richest man in the world and the first multi-millionaire in America. The German-born Astor remains the eighteenth wealthiest person of all time, and the eighth to create that fortune in the United States. He used part of his fortune to found the Astor Library in New York City. Later it merged with the Lenox Library to form the New York Public Library.

On the frontier, the American Fur Company opened the way for the settlement and economic development of the Midwestern and Western United States. Mountain men working for the company improved Native American trails and carved others that led settlers into the West. Many cities in the Midwest and West, such as Astoria, Oregon and Fort Benton, Montana, developed around American Fur Company trading posts. The American Fur Company played a major role in the development and expansion of the young United States.


Astor had many leading politicians working for him. It was the kind of behind the scenes work that would probably draw more than one investigation today. The famous Senator Thomas Hart Benton was in Astor’s “employ” when Benton pushed through the abolition of the War Department’s ‘factory’ system, which competed with Astor’s trading posts. Astor then bribed officials to gain exclusive rights to set up more of his posts.
For example, Michigan Governor Lewis Cass received $35,000 from Astor in 1817 in return for Astor’s gaining exclusivity in the Michigan fur trade. It was a bargain for John Jacob.
Astor also loaned politicians money all the time, like $5,000 to James Monroe, who took 15 years to repay it. Or the $20,000 he lent to Henry Clay during the panic of 1819 when credit was impossible to come by.
By the early 1820s, Astor had a total monopoly on the fur business, spending $2 for goods that fetched $140 in London.
But Astor was involved in more than beaver pelts. At the start of the War of 1812, the U.S. government was struggling to find a way to finance the conflict. Astor and two other’s, including the big financier Stephen Girard, purchased $10 million in war
bonds that the government was unable to sell. Astor and Girard, in turn, then acted as an underwriting syndicate, buying the bonds with their own funds and borrowed money, then reselling them for a profit. It was the first underwriting of government bonds. And Astor used his vast connections list to full advantage. The $10 million block was purchased for 40 cents on the dollar and sold for 82 cents…a $4.2 million profit. This whole venture proved to be a source of conflict under the presidency of Andrew Jackson as it “showed how the commercial banking sector was making enormous profits at the expense of a hard-put government.” [Geisst]
Astor was also involved in the creation of the Second Bank of the United States (SBUS), a highly controversial venture established by Congress in 1816. Congress owned 20% of the stock and had 5 of the 25 board seats. Astor was lending Clay money, as well as Daniel Webster, both of whom served on the SBUS while they were sitting in the Congress. You can imagine that Astor received some favors.
By 1835, Astor was growing weary and he retired from the fur trade to concentrate on New York real estate. Actually, all the way back to 1797 he had been a player, then buying a farm in the middle of Manhattan for $25,000, considered quite high at the time. He held on and at the time of his death it sold for that amount per square yard.






There isn’t a gun nut in America who doesn’t see himself as a Long Hunter all alone in the wilderness, shooting at hostile heathens who do not believe in the Killer Jesus of Tim Lahaye, and thuse these tribal socialist parasties of Satan deserved to lose their land to God fearing capilist folk, like the Bentons, who were real Long Hunters who no doubt went hunting with the Boone brothers. That’s Squire Boone above. Eat your hart out you Cornwell pretenders!

These Long Hunts would lead Senator Thomas Hart Benton to author ‘Manifest Destiny’ and send his son-in-law to Oregon to snatch the North West from the British Empire. Jessie Benton wrote Fremont’s journals and was an Abolitionist. Many Tea Party Neo-Confederate Traitors pray their Killer Jesus come soon and empty America of parastites, leaving just a handful of righteous men modeled after my kindred – who laugh in their face – deep inside a cave! Reminds me of Tom Sawyer and Injun Joe.

Jon Presco

Squire Boone

After attempting to establish a settlement near present-day Vicksburg, Mississippi and staying with Daniel Boone in Missouri for several years, in 1806[3][4] he eventually settled with his family in Harrison County, Indiana south of Corydon. There he settled with his four sons and the sons of Samuel Boone. The settlement is in what is now called Boone Township, and it began to flourish early on. Squire Boone personally acquired a large tract of land on the western edge of the township near the cave he and his brother had hid in many years earlier to evade Indians. Boone considered the cave to be sacred and decided that was where he wanted to be entombed.

On his land Boone carved stone out of a nearby hill to build his home. He carved into the quarry wall various religious and political statements that are still there today. Boone would also build Old Goshen Church, one of the first churches in the state. Boone also became a close friend of Harvey Heth and involved in the local politics of the area as one of the leading citizens. He was Harrison County’s Justice of the peace in 1808.[5]

[edit] DeathHe died, age 71, in 1815 and was buried in a cave on his property. His remains were left undisturbed for many years, but in the mid-20th century relic hunters began taking parts of his coffin and even some of his bones. His coffin was then moved deeper into the cave, where it resides today, at the end of the tour of Squire Boone Caverns.

In 1823 Benton began focusing on Oregon, arguing that steps should be taken to assure that the territory would eventually become part of the United States. An agreement with Great Britain calling for joint occupation was to expire in 1828. In 1824 Benton began agitating for a constitutional amendment that would do away with the electoral college and permit direct election of the president. He also offered a plan to change the government’s land policy making it easier for common citizens to purchase government lands. In support of his various proposals he began printing leaflets for public distribution in an attempt to gain public support for his policies. In the fall of 1823 Jackson was elected to the Senate from Tennessee. He and Benton reconciled their differences, sat next to each other in the senate, and worked well together on the Military Affairs Committee. On May 31, 1824 Elizabeth gave birth to their second child – Jessie Ann Benton. In the run up to the 1824 presidential election Benton supported his cousin-in-law Henry Clay over Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William H. Crawford. In that election eighteen of the twenty-four states selected their candidate of choice by popular vote rather than by the respective state legislatures. Jackson received the greatest number of popular votes but only 99 electoral votes. Adams was next with 84 electoral votes, then Crwaford with 41 and finally Clay with 37. None had received enough electoral votes to win the presidency and the elction was thrown into the House of Representatives.

In 1768, an English explorer named John Finley passed through the Yadkin Valley and visited Daniel Boone, with whom he had served in the French and Indian War. Finley told Boone of the natural splendor of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, which he had visited as a merchant before the French and Indian War. The following year, the two led an expedition into Kentucky, traveling up the Rockcastle River and establishing a station camp at Red Lick Fork. While Boone and a companion named John Stuart were hunting along the Kentucky River, they were captured by the Shawnee, and their pelts were confiscated. They returned to their station camp to find it plundered, and learned that Finley and the rest of the expedition had returned to North Carolina. Undeterred, Boone and Stuart continued hunting in the region. Boone was later joined by his brother, Squire, and the Boone brothers remained in the Kentucky wilderness until 1771. Although they again had their pelts confiscated when they were intercepted by the Cherokee at Cumberland Gap, the Boones were nevertheless eager to return to settle in the region.[18] Daniel Boone’s vivid accounts of his hunting exploits helped draw a flood of settlers to Kentucky in subsequent years.

Numerous natural and political entities in Kentucky bear the names of long hunters, including Boone County and Boonesborough, named for Daniel Boone, and Harrodsburg, named for James Harrod. Kenton County is named for Simon Kenton, who, believing he was a fugitive, spent the mid-1770s hunting in eastern Kentucky. Long hunter James Knox named the Dix River after Cherokee leader Captain Dick, who gave Knox permission to hunt along the river in 1770.[19] The U.S. government established Daniel Boone National Forest in 1937 in the eastern part of the state.

Boonesborough is an unincorporated community in Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It lies in the central part of the state along the Kentucky River. Boonesborough is part of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Transylvania Purchase at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, Tennessee and the Wilderness Road into Kentucky.
Boonesborough was founded by legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone when he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company. Boone led a group of settlers through the mountains from Fort Watauga (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), carving out the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap, and established Fort Boonesborough. Boone lived there from 1775 to 1779. Boonesborough was the first chartered town in Kentucky, and one of the first English speaking communities settled west of the Appalachian Mountains. Boone successfully led his fellow settlers during the siege of Boonesborough in 1778.

The information gathered by longhunters in the 1760s and 1770s would prove critical to the early settlement of Tennessee and Kentucky. Many longhunters were employed by land surveyors seeking to take advantage of the departure of the French from the Ohio Valley at the end of the Seven Years War. Some later helped guide settlers to Middle Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Longhunters & Beaver Battles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.