Private John Colter
P.S. After the discipline problems I had at Camp Wood, I turned out to be a pretty reliable member of the expedition and an excellent hunter. On the return journey I received permission to leave the party at the Mandan villages and join a small trapping expedition headed back up the river. I spent four more years in the mountains as an independent trapper and also worked for Manuel Lisa's Missouri Fur Company. I was the first non-Indian to see what is now Yellowstone National Park. I escaped from the Blackfeet who captured me and my friend John Potts at the Three Forks of the Missouri. Potts was killed, but I ran for miles through the countryside, finally hiding from my pursuers in a steam, hiding under some driftwood. I returned to Missouri, settled on a farm, married, and died of an illness during service with Nathan Boone's Ranger Company in the War of 1812.
Did You Know?
The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial contains over 150 quotes from diaries, journals, letters and speeches. The designers of the museum felt the actual words of nineteenth century pioneers were the most powerful way to tell their story. Click to learn more. More...