Jim Bridger - The Grand Old Man of the Rockies
Publisher: Arcadia Press
James Felix Bridger (1804-1881) was among the foremost mountain men, trappers, scouts and guides who explored and trapped the Western United States during the decades of 1820–1850, as well as mediating between native tribes and encroaching whites. He was of English ancestry, and his family had been in North America since the early colonial period.
Jim Bridger had a strong constitution that allowed him to survive the extreme conditions he encountered walking the Rocky Mountains from what would become southern Colorado to the Canada–US border. He had conversational knowledge of French, Spanish and several native languages. He would come to know many of the major European American explorers of the early west, including Kit Carson, George Armstrong Custer, Hugh Glass, John Frémont, Joseph Meek, and John Sutter. Bridger was a young contemporary of British and American pathfinders including Peter Skene Ogden, Jedediah Smith, and William Sublette. In 1830, Smith and his associates sold their fur company to Bridger and his associates naming it the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Bridger was part of the second generation of mountain men and pathfinders who explored the American West that followed the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804.