Journal of a Trapper


Journal of a Trapper

Osborne Russell
Edited by Aubrey L. Haines

241 pages
Illus., maps


October 1965


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

"Reader, if you are in search of a Classical and Scientific tourist, please to lay this Volume down, and pass on, for this simply informs you what a Trapper has seen and experienced. But if you wish to peruse a Hunter's rambles among the wild regions of the Rocky Mountains, please to read this and forgive the authors foibles and imperfections, considering as you pass along that he has been chiefly educated in Nature's School under that rigid tutor experience. . . ."

Born in a little Maine village in 1814, Osborne Russell ran away to sea at the age of sixteen, but he soon gave up seafaring to serve with a trading and trapping company in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 1834 he signed up for Nathaniel Wyeth's expedition to the Rocky Mountains and the mouth of the Columbia. Subsequently he joined Jim Bridger's brigade of old Rocky Mountain Fur Company men, continuing with them after a merger that left the American Fur Company in control of the trade. When the fur trade declined, he became a free trapper operating out of Fort Hall, staying in the mountains until the great Westward migration began.

Osborne Russell's journal covering the years 1834 to 1843 is, in the words of editor Aubrey L. Haines, "perhaps the best account of the fur trapper in the Rocky Mountains when the trade there was at its peak. It is a factual, unembellished narrative written by one who was not only a trapper but also a keen observer and an able writer." Edited from the original manuscript and originally printed in a limited edition of 750 copies, this classic piece of Western Americana is now available to the general public.


"For a step back to life as it was before the Interstate, McDonalds, shopping malls, and rockets in space, Osborne Russell's Journal of a Trapper can carry the reader to the open clear sky of the Rocky Mountains and to the camp of the fur traders who were an important component of our collective history."—Molly Martin, Reviewer's Bookwatch

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