1-5 of 5 results  for:

  • Armed forces and intelligence services x
Clear all

Article

Bridger, James (17 March 1804–17 July 1881), fur trapper and trader, explorer, and scout, was born in a tavern near Richmond, Virginia, the son of James Bridger, a surveyor and innkeeper, and Chloe Tyler, a barmaid. Bridger and his family moved in about 1812 to a farm near St. Louis, where, on being orphaned five years later, he became a blacksmith’s apprentice. In 1822 he responded to an advertisement calling for a hundred able-bodied young men to join a fur-trapping expedition, lasting from one to three years, up to the headwaters of the Missouri River. The organizers of the expedition were ...

Article

Navarre, Pierre (28 March 1790?–20 March 1874), fur trader and military scout, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of François Utreau Navarre and Marie Louise Godet. Pierre (also known as Peter) was of French descent. His grandfather Robert Navarre, an officer in the French army, was a pioneer settler of Detroit and author of “Journal of the Conspiracy of Pontiac” (later published as ...

Article

Vigo, Joseph Maria Francesco (03 December 1747–22 March 1836), soldier, fur trader, and merchant, was born in Mondovi on territory in northern Italy then possessed by the kingdom of Sardinia, the son of Matheo Vigo and Maria Magdalena Iugalibus. In his youth Vigo was a soldier in a Spanish regiment that was assigned to Spanish territory in the Americas. Vigo was stationed in Havana, Cuba, and then in New Orleans, where he was informed about a profitable fur trade. Traders from the upper Mississippi River frequented the port in order to export furs and to acquire trade goods. Following his discharge from the military, Vigo began acquiring furs in the Arkansas country, where he developed successful commercial relations with native American suppliers of pelts and with French inhabitants. In 1772 Vigo removed to St. Louis, a new Spanish outpost. As Vigo prospered he made a partnership with a relative, establishing the firm of Vigo and Yosti. In 1778 Fernando de Leyba, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana then residing in St. Louis, entered a partnership with Vigo in an unpublicized agreement....

Article

Walker, Joseph Rutherford (13 December 1798–27 October 1876), fur trader and explorer, was born in Roane County, Tennessee, the son of Joseph Walker and Susan Willis, farmers. Walker grew up to be a strapping 6′ 4″ young man, strongly built at 200 pounds. Nothing is known of his education. A faulty obituary has led to constant error in his middle name, “Reddeford” being substituted for the proper Rutherford. Walker probably served with his brother Joel in the Creek War campaign of ...

Article

Williams, William Sherley (03 January 1787– March 1849), fur trapper, trader, and guide, known as “Old Bill,” was born on Horse Creek in Rutherford County, North Carolina, the son of Joseph Williams and Sarah Musick, farmers. In 1794 Joseph Williams took his family west through Cumberland Gap, down the Ohio, to Whiteside Station, fifteen miles south of St. Louis. The following summer (1795), the family crossed the Mississippi into Spanish Louisiana and settled a Spanish land grant near Owen’s Station (sixteen miles to the north of St. Louis). There, Williams acquired a frontier education augmented by his mother’s tutoring and some formal learning. During his teenage years, Williams gained acceptance with the Big Hill band of the Osage. He learned their language, gained influence, married into the tribe (wife’s name unknown), and lived among them for nearly a quarter of a century....