One of the few first-hand accounts of the West before white people arrived. A must read for American history buffs and anyone interested in the adventures and lives of the original Mountain Men.
Captain Sir William Drummond Stewart, Scotland’s baronet of Murthly, was an enthusiastic adventurer with a deep curiosity about the untamed Western United States. He spent seven years exploring the American West, far ahead of the first white settlers. He traveled in the company of the legendary trappers Jim Bridger, Tom Fitzpatrick, William Sublette and many others. This is a novel of his travels.
The book, ‘Edward Warren’ is an intriguing, romantic, odd, and fascinating tale of the Rocky Mountain Fur trade told by Stewart.
Originally Stewart offered up EDWARD WARREN as a novel. He then appended the book as a ‘fictitious autobiography.’ And that is the value to modern readers, both those who are already in love with the wild mountain men, and those looking for a peek inside this world. It is now, back in print, after almost 150 years in obscurity.
‘Edward Warren’ is a true picture of Stewart’s companions, the mountain men, and their trade, the fabled beaver trade of the Rock Mountains, and it is drawn from real life. As such, it is an invaluable eye-witness account.
Stewart went west in 1833 while the beaver trade was still in its heyday. He traveled with the fur men, fought and befriended Indians with them, had Indian women as companions, and endured the hardships of the camp and trail with them.
Stewart attended every Rendezvous from 1833 to 1838, bridging the high years to the low ones, when the beaver market plummeted. After going home to assume his titles and estates, Stewart went back to the West … it called to him. It was 1843 and was to be his farewell journey.
He found the mountain men poor, dispersed, beaten. Stewart decided to spend a lot of money for one more rendezvous. A last hurrah. And, as it turned out, in that very summer, there came the first great wave of emigration that would destroy the nomadic, free life that Stewart treasured.
During his time in and out of the mountains, Stewart hobnobbed in St. Louis with movers and shakers, like Kenneth McKenzie-the King of the Missouri, and William Clark of Lewis and Clark.
Stewart traveled first to the mountains with Robt. Campbell. He rode with Tom Fitzpatrick, Jim Bridger, Bill Williams and Antoine Clement. Knew Kit Carson, Lucien Fontenelle, Doc Newell, Joe Meek, Andrew Drips, and Joe Walker-a who’s who of the mountain trade. His sketches of these men are real. Bill Williams in blackened buckskins with bright red hair. Joe Meek, always the cut-up. Fontenelle the drinker. Carson the protector. Clement the ultimate hunter.
In ‘Edward Warren’ Stewart has given us one of the few accounts of the mountain man’s life with an eye-witness view.
Stewart’s adventures in the West left a profound impression on him. He loved the free mountain life, and he mourned the passing of the Indians and the great herds of buffalo.
What Stewart has given us, in this ‘fictionalized autobiography’ is priceless. It is one of the few accounts of the mountain man’s life from a man who lived it.
It is a glory.
“An authentic account of exploration. Sir William Drummond Stewart was unique–a British aristocrat who traveled, hunted, and rendezvoused with the mountain men of the era before white settlers ventured into the West. His novel is not beautifully written, but the sheer authenticity of his experiences and observations make it uniquely valuable for anyone interested in our nation’s history and adventure.”