That’s what I call the first book in my Montana history series.
The full name is Tribes and Trappers: A History of Montana, Volume I.
It stretches from the age of the dinosaurs – and even earlier – all the way up to 1840.
Mainly, however, it focuses on the Indians and their way of life in the 1700s.
After that most of the book focuses on the whites coming up into Montana in the late-1700s and early-1800s.
This was mostly fur trappers and mountain men.
We profile a whole lot of ‘em, big names and big personalities like:
- Hugh Glass
- Jim Bridger
- Mike Fink
- Andrew Henry
- Manuel Lisa
- John Colter
- Jedediah Smith
- Joshua Pilcher
- Lewis & Clark
- The St. Louis Chouteaus
- Lots more
I first put this book out in April 2013. I thought it was pretty good, though it was my first real attempt at writing history for the masses.
Since then I’ve written numerous books and quite a few more histories.
Starting in September 2015, I began collecting notes on the fur trade...mainly to help me write my John Colter novels.
I soon realized I had a lot of stuff, and the basis for quite the expansion of Tribes.
So I set about organizing those notes.
Boy, it was a big job – a lot bigger than I’d thought.
It took a long time to rearrange all the information in the book so the new additions made sense.
Now it’s done though, and I have to say, the result is good.
The 2nd Edition has 75,000 words whereas the earlier version had 36,000 words. That comes out to 155 more pages.
You get a much broader look at the state of world affairs in the 1700s and early-1800s.
Why give you that?
- So you can understand the situation that existed that allowed America to come into possession of the land that would become Montana.
- You realize why people came all they way up here, into a virtual wilderness, what their main motivations were.
- You know how this area of the Upper Missouri River became a hotbed of commercial activity, and how it quickly petered out.
Like most Montana stories, Tribes is a tale of boom and bust.
- It’s that way for the Indians, as they get wondrous new trade items, but see their way of life vanish.
- It’s that way for the whites, as they get a lot of trapping done quickly, but can’t maintain it. Also, most engaged in the industry don’t make any money, just those at the top.
The book is available on Amazon in eBook and print format.
You can also get it on Apple iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and several other retailers.
Learn how Montana got started and learn how we came to be what we are today.
Start your journey into Montana’s history with Tribes and Trappers today!