"Uncle Dick" Wootton: The Pioneer Frontiersman of the Rocky Mountain Region (Classics of the Old West)

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9780809439522: "Uncle Dick" Wootton: The Pioneer Frontiersman of the Rocky Mountain Region (Classics of the Old West)
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Richens Lacy Wootton was born May 6, 1816, in Mecklenberg County, Virginia. When he was 7, the family moved to Christian County, Kentucky, where Richens lived until he was 17. Then he went to an uncle's cotton plantation in Mississippi for almost 2 years. At that point, he headed west to Independence, Missouri. That was 1836.

He took a job with a wagon train run by Bent, St. Vrain & Co., headed for Bent's Fort in Colorado. That began a long adventure with Dick Wootton becoming known as a mountain man and one of the best frontiersman/trapper/guides in the West. He fought with, and traded with, many of the different Indian tribes. He traveled over almost the entire western half of the country as a trapper and later as a military guide.

By 1840, trapping had become far less profitable. Wootton took a job at Bent's Fort as a hunter. The primary game was buffalo and he hunted them only for food. Over the years, though, the "skin hunters" hunted the buffalo almost to extinction, hunting them only to feed an Eastern market that was hot for buffalo skin robes. Wootton tried an experiment with buffalo farming in the vicinity of where Pueblo is now. He raised buffalo and cattle together for three years, then drove his herd east along the Santa Fe Trail to Kansas City. There he sold them all for a good profit to a man who then took them to New York.

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