Museum of the
We presented the Role of Mountain Men in Settling California, depicting a trapper's camp and telling the tales of Jedediah Smith, Kit Carson, Jim Beckwourth, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, James O. Pattie, Ewing Young, Louis Robidoux, Peg Leg Smith and others. We played authentic music of the period and taught museum members how to start a fire with flint and steel.
The Corps of Rediscovery appeared at the behest of Peter Sherayko of Caravan West Productions and author of "Tombstone: the Guns and Gear." Peter not only appeared in the movie as Texas Jack Vermillion, he also supplied the guns and much of the gear used in making the movie.
Naturally, we had to deal with a historical revisionist who wished to deny that the killing of fur-bearing animals had any place in American history.
With hands on hips and furrowed brow, the man surveyed our display, turned to me and said, "This isn't exactly politically correct, is it?"
"No," I replied. "But it's historically correct. If you want to deny that the fur trade is part of our history, then you might as well deny that slavery is part of our history as well. The fact is, if it weren't for the mountain men hunting for beaver, you might not be living in California today."
He stomped off in a huff and we treated the rest of the folks to a slice of history most of them had never been previously exposed to.
Copyright © , Larry M Edwards