James Beckwourth was born a slave in 1798. He was apprenticed to a blacksmith but ran away at eighteen. He learned hunting, fishing and trapping from Indians along the Mississippi. In 1823, he joined Gen. William H. Ashley's Rocky Mountain Fur Company Expedition, winning fame for legendary skill as a mountain man. Both Blackfeet and Crow Indians took him into their tribes, and he left Ashley's in 1825 to spend six years living with the Crows. He discovered Beckwourth Pass through the Sierra Nevada, easing the way for gold hunters and settlers bound for California.
James Beckwourth, B. Marvis. Chelsea House Publications, 1997.
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James Beckwourth: Mountain Man, Raymond Friday Locke. Holloway House Publishing Company, 1995.
Jim Beckwourth: Adventures of a Mountain Man, Louis Sabin and Marion N. Krupp. Troll Association, 1992.
Jim Beckwourth: Black Mountain Man and War Chief of the Crows, Elinor Wilson. University of Oklahoma Press, 1981.
The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, T. D. Bonner (Editor). Ayer Company Publishing, 1969.
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