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Journal of a Mountain Man: Mountain Man Classics, Book One (Epic Adventures 1)

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“James Clyman was one of untamed and wild America’s most joyful explorers.” ~ Win Blevins A member of Jedediah Smith's first mountain man brigade, Clyman was there when the South Pass was discovered, opening the inter-mountain West to fur trappers. Crossing the country during the great migration of 1846, Clyman encountered the Donner party and gave them sound “James Clyman was one of untamed and wild America’s most joyful explorers.” ~ Win Blevins A member of Jedediah Smith's first mountain man brigade, Clyman was there when the South Pass was discovered, opening the inter-mountain West to fur trappers. Crossing the country during the great migration of 1846, Clyman encountered the Donner party and gave them sound advice, which they tragically ignored. A few other adventures: He sewed Jim Bridger's ear back on after a grizzly bear attack; explored the Green Valley and the Salt Lake Basin; alone and weary, he walked 600 miles to Fort Atkinson. (Still one of the West's most remarkable tales of survival.) He also kept Bill Sublette from freezing to death en route.Clyman crossed twice to the Pacific and ended up settling in the Napa Valley, raising his family, writing down his adventures, and spreading the legendary stories of the mountain menIn his own heartfelt and exciting way, James Clyman gives us his experiences in the heyday of the American fur trade, and during the peak of exploration and immigration to Oregon and California. Clyman was a keen and meticulous observer, and his epic adventures are the stuff of legends. A must-read for everyone who loves the West.


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“James Clyman was one of untamed and wild America’s most joyful explorers.” ~ Win Blevins A member of Jedediah Smith's first mountain man brigade, Clyman was there when the South Pass was discovered, opening the inter-mountain West to fur trappers. Crossing the country during the great migration of 1846, Clyman encountered the Donner party and gave them sound “James Clyman was one of untamed and wild America’s most joyful explorers.” ~ Win Blevins A member of Jedediah Smith's first mountain man brigade, Clyman was there when the South Pass was discovered, opening the inter-mountain West to fur trappers. Crossing the country during the great migration of 1846, Clyman encountered the Donner party and gave them sound advice, which they tragically ignored. A few other adventures: He sewed Jim Bridger's ear back on after a grizzly bear attack; explored the Green Valley and the Salt Lake Basin; alone and weary, he walked 600 miles to Fort Atkinson. (Still one of the West's most remarkable tales of survival.) He also kept Bill Sublette from freezing to death en route.Clyman crossed twice to the Pacific and ended up settling in the Napa Valley, raising his family, writing down his adventures, and spreading the legendary stories of the mountain menIn his own heartfelt and exciting way, James Clyman gives us his experiences in the heyday of the American fur trade, and during the peak of exploration and immigration to Oregon and California. Clyman was a keen and meticulous observer, and his epic adventures are the stuff of legends. A must-read for everyone who loves the West.

30 review for Journal of a Mountain Man: Mountain Man Classics, Book One (Epic Adventures 1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    I chose to read this book for two reasons: 1) I’ve long been a fan of Win Blevins and 2) I have always wanted to learn more about what it was like to be a Mountain Man during the rugged frontier days of the American West. James Clyman is probably not a typical Mountain Man as evidenced by his keeping journals of his travels and experiences but his careful record is invaluable to understanding this era. This is not really a book that you sit down and read from cover to cover while curled up by the I chose to read this book for two reasons: 1) I’ve long been a fan of Win Blevins and 2) I have always wanted to learn more about what it was like to be a Mountain Man during the rugged frontier days of the American West. James Clyman is probably not a typical Mountain Man as evidenced by his keeping journals of his travels and experiences but his careful record is invaluable to understanding this era. This is not really a book that you sit down and read from cover to cover while curled up by the fire. Most of it is far too tedious for that. I actually read it over a period of several months. The book is mostly a collection of long detailed accounts of what exactly transpired each day during Clyman’s travels including weather reports, results of the hunting trip or fishing results that day and who he loaned money to. The meat of the journals, of course, is the observations on the people and places he encounters which is of great value to scholars if not so much to the casual reader. Win Blevins adds additional explanatory material at the end of each section and provides context with other historical events occurring at or near the same time. It was interesting to see how James Clyman’s trail intersected with other historical events/people with which I am familiar such as John C. Fremont’s expeditions and the Donner party (Clyman advised them against taking that path through the mountains). Recommended for hard-core western history (US) enthusiasts but not so much for those looking for an enjoyable read. I’m sure Mr. Clyman never intended his journals to be read by the masses. In fact, part of the fun is seeing just how much his command of the written word improved over the years. The first entries were hardly understandable due to spelling and grammar issues. But he seemed to rapidly improve as he practiced and gained more education between trips to the West.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Abernathy

    Journal of a Mountain Man Today this journal would compare to raw video! It's Clyman's journals with helpful notes and insights that tell of his life in the 1800's western frontier. This book is not politically correct but it isn't prejudiced either, he just tells it like it was. If you're interested in the period when settlers were streaming across the nation and what was happening then this book is a treasure. Journal of a Mountain Man Today this journal would compare to raw video! It's Clyman's journals with helpful notes and insights that tell of his life in the 1800's western frontier. This book is not politically correct but it isn't prejudiced either, he just tells it like it was. If you're interested in the period when settlers were streaming across the nation and what was happening then this book is a treasure.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Hickman

    I have read several of W. Blevins books. This one is unique because it uses Clymans' own words to paint a picture of the Wild Western Frontier before the Civil War. Clyman was a Mountain Man or trapper and trader with the plains Indian Tribes who hunted buffalo for a living. This book is at times difficult reading but very close to reality about the trials and tribulations of the persons who crossed the plains or Great Desert of the U S A. Water was often hard to find, food was a commonity not a I have read several of W. Blevins books. This one is unique because it uses Clymans' own words to paint a picture of the Wild Western Frontier before the Civil War. Clyman was a Mountain Man or trapper and trader with the plains Indian Tribes who hunted buffalo for a living. This book is at times difficult reading but very close to reality about the trials and tribulations of the persons who crossed the plains or Great Desert of the U S A. Water was often hard to find, food was a commonity not always available to the trappers or the Indians especially during the long cold winters. A great resource book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Del Allwood-Soden

    Blevins is great at mixing fact with fiction. He does a lot of research and continues to entertain us.

  5. 5 out of 5

    randall Weaver

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marti Reeder

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gerald L. Hodge

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Andrews

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hammontree

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nateshinn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lark Schaffer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Kiser

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darrel Sparkman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd R. Iverson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Leger

  20. 5 out of 5

    sandra reuss

  21. 4 out of 5

    JENNIFER LAWTON

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Wintz

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brett Hartley

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donald Oehler

  25. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa C.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deb Skirvin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Martindale

  29. 5 out of 5

    Richard Boss

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandra L McPherson

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