Rocky Mountain Rendezvous

Western U.S. annual fur trapper and trading gathering from 1825 to 1840
Rocky Mountain Rendezvous
Rocky Mountain Rendevouz.jpg
Typical rendezvous scene
Status No longer held
Begins Early summer
Ends Mid-summer
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Various
Years active 1825 – 1840
Founder William Henry Ashley
Participants Fur trappers

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous (in trapper jargon) was an annual gathering (1825–1840) at various locations held by a fur trading company at which trappers and mountain men sold their furs and hides and replenished their supplies. The large fur companies put together teamster driven mule trains which packed in whiskey and supplies into a pre-announced location each spring-summer and set up a trading fair—the rendezvous—and at the season's end, packed furs out, normally the British Companies to Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest, and to one of the northern Missouri River ports such as St. Joseph, Missouri, if an American overland fur trading company.

Rendezvous were known to be lively, joyous places, where all were allowed- free trappers, Indians, native trapper wives and children, travelers and later on, even tourists who would venture from even as far as Europe to observe the festivities. James Beckwourth describes: "Mirth, songs, dancing, shouting, trading, running, jumping, singing, racing, target-shooting, yarns, frolic, with all sorts of extravagances that white men or Indians could invent."[1]

Rendezvous are still celebrated as gatherings of like-minded individuals or clubs in many walks of life. The fur trading rendezvous are celebrated by traditional black-powder rifle clubs all over the US and Canada. These gatherings range from small gatherings sponsored by local clubs to large gatherings like the Pacific Primitive Rendezvous and others. These gatherings include much of the same activities of the originals, centering on the shooting of muzzle-loaded rifles, trade guns and shotguns, the throwing of knives and tomahawks and primitive archery, as well as cooking, dancing, singing, the telling of tall tales and of past rendezvous. Personas taken on by participants include trappers, traders, housewives, Native Americans, frontiersmen, free-trappers and many others, including soldiers.

LocationsEdit

 
Alfred Jacob Miller - Sioux Indians in the Mountains - Miller en route to a Rocky Mountain Rendezvous In the spring of 1837, Captain William Drummond Stewart hired the Baltimorean Alfred Jacob Miller to accompany and record an expedition to the annual fur traders' rendezvous held in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in what is now Wyoming.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bonner, Thomas D. (1856). The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. With Illustrations. Written from His Own Dictation. New York: New York. p. 107. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  2. ^ All locations according to thefurtrapper.com: rendezvous sites
  3. ^ Official State Highway Map of Wyoming (Map). Wyoming Department of Transportation. 2014. 

External linksEdit