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Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain…

Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain Men

by Carl P. Russell

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When Lewis and Clark recruited their party of explorers in 1803-4, they selected and "signed up" nine young backwoodsmen from Kentucky and obtained the transfer of fourteen hardbitten soldiers from the Regular Army.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0826304656, Paperback)

This encyclopedic guide to the equipment of the trappers and fur traders who opened the Old West is a unique reference work that can be classified either as history or as archaeology. It describes and discusses hundreds of iron artifacts—rifles, shotguns, hatchets, axes, knives, traps, and miscellaneous tools—used by the mountain men from the early 1800s to the mid 1840s.

Thirty years’ research went into the writing of this book. In addition to examining the diaries and letters of the trappers themselves, and the business records of fur-trading companies, the author also tracked down the records and catalogs of the gunsmiths, ironmongers, and other manufacturers who supplied the early traders. He observed most of the surviving artifacts, identified their makers, and traced the evolution of the styles and designs of the weapons and tools, usually from European origins.

Illustrated with over 400 drawings, the book begins with a useful background history of the western fur trade. Among the sections that will appeal to special groups of readers are chapters on firearms and blacksmithing and an appendix on the “Historic Objects as Sources of History.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:07 -0400)

This classic, scholarly history of the fur trappers and traders of the early nineteenth century focuses on the devices that enabled the opening of the untracked American west. Sprinkled with interesting facts and old western lore, this guide to traps and tools is also a lively history. The era of the mountain man is distinct in American history, and Russell's exhaustive coverage on the guns, traps, knives, axes, and other iron tools of this era, along with meticulous appendices, is astonishing. The result of thirty-five years of painstaking research, this is the definitive guide to the tools of the mountain men.… (more)

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