• the Gateway Arch celebrates 50 years in 2015, the Arch shortly after completion in November 1965


    National Expansion Memorial Missouri

Private John Colter

Drawing of John Colter
Sketch copyright by Michael Haynes.
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.

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