June 11, 2013

What the Neighbors Were Doing 168 Years Ago

Alexander Barclay, trader, writes to his brother George in St. Louis, June 11, 1845 from a location just down the creek from us:

Our wants are few, and as we witness no instance of ostentation and luxury in our neighbors, we have nothing to create envy. Thus, we have only to repress occasional recollections of the superfluities of civilized life to be contented with our own. Indeed, the men who have located here are all those whom the wreck of the mountain trade and hunting parties have left on the surface, unfitted to return to former haunts or avocations, with minds alienated by new connections from home and early friends, and habits transformed by constant excitement and daring adventure from the dull plodding of the sober citizen to the reckless activity and thrilling interest of a border life, open to the aggression of the savage and the pursuit of free will, free trade and free thinking.

quoted in George P. Hammond, The Adventures of Alexander Barclay, Mountain Man
(Denver: Old West Pub. Co., 1976)

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