Jim Beckwourth was born in Frederick County, Virginia on April 6, 1798. According to Wikipedia, he was an American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer. A mulatto born into slavery, he was freed by his father (and master) and apprenticed to a blacksmith; later he moved to the American West.
As a fur trapper, he lived with the Crow for years. He is credited with the discovery of the Beckwourth Pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains between present-day Reno, Nevada and Portola, California during the California Gold Rush years, and improved the Beckwourth Trail, which thousands of settlers followed to central California. The civil rights movement of the 1960s celebrated Beckwourth as an early African-American pioneer.
Edward Wallis brings Jim Beckwourth back to life at one of my favorite places to visit in Santa Fe, El Rancho de las Golondrinas (which is featured in a June 27, 2014 PUPPY PATHS post).
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