Old West Lifestyle & Stories

John Colter After Lewis & Clark

   John Colter was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during their trailblazing trip through the west. This was his first venture into the new frontier, and he liked what he saw. So, on June 15, 1806 John ventured out on his own.
   He ended up near present day Custer, Wyoming where he made friends with some Crow Indians. John accompanied them on a raid against the Blackfoot, during which John killed a Blackfoot. This was unfortunate because now the Blackfoot Indians wanted John’s hair.
About a year later the Blackfoot captured John and a fellow trapper. In the process John’s friend was killed. They had something special for John. He was stripped of his clothing, and told to run. With a 500-yard head start, the braves started after him.
Even with bare feet and body being cut by the rocks and brush, John managed to outdistance all but one brave. Just as the brave caught up with him, John turned and faced the Indian. Startled at the bloody sight, the Indian stumbled, and John killed him. Even with the remaining Blackfoot Indians still in pursuit, John was able to travel the 250 miles to safety.
   If, at this point, you’d say, “I’d never return to Blackfoot country,” you wouldn’t have the pluck of John Colter. Because John went back, but after 5 of his companions were killed; he finally decided to leave.
   John got married and became a farmer. When he died, his wife abandoned the cabin and left John on his deathbed. In 1926, the remains of John Colter and his cabin were found, and he was finally given a formal burial.

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