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Jim Bridger

Jim Bridger


Of all of the explorers in the old west, none was as great as Jim Bridger. He was a man with no equals.

Born in Virginia in 1804, Bridger headed to the American west at the age of twenty and began his career as a frontiersman, trapper, trader and scout. Amongst the emigrants, Bridger was held in high regard, having led more parties across the country than anyone else.

Bridger was a walking encyclopedia of the American west, being able to recall routes, landmarks and other features of the landscape with incredible clarity and accuracy. Bridger's ability to speak nine languages (English, French, Spanish and six Indian) helped him make his way with diplomacy as well as charm.

Bridger's accomplishments are considerable. In addition to blazing a wagon road from Denver to Salt Lake City (now used by Route 40), Bridger is credited with being the first white man to see the Great Salt Lake, one of the first over South Pass and the first to see the natural wonders of Yellowstone.

Bridger was also a merchant, establishing Fort Bridger on the Oregon Trail at the Junction with Hastings' Cutoff. That strategic location ensured his venture success with trade from emigrants heading to Oregon, California and the Salt Lake valley.

Later, Bridger settled in the Kansas City area in 1855. Bridger died in 1881 and is now buried in Mount Washington Cemetery.

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Last updated: 2010-09-08 19:08:30

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