Winter Down: The Sam Ogden Mountain Man Series Vol. II (Volume 2)

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9781512264562: Winter Down: The Sam Ogden Mountain Man Series Vol. II (Volume 2)
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The first half of the nineteenth century in the American West was marked by an intense spirit of national pride and frontier determination. The politicians were the ones who stoked the flames of national pride that would eventually bring the territory of California into the American union. From the year 1803 when the Louisiana Purchase brought the entire Rocky Mountain territory under the control of the American government, men called free trappers were moving about throughout the territory and in their own way claiming it for the new owners. Their activities, and their aggression toward the Native Americans who inhabited the region, where source of conflict and violence. Where the Lewis and Clark expedition had gone through the entire Western territory all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back without engaging in open conflict with the natives, things were gradually changing in that regard. Tribes which it always thought with one another were now considering the white settlers as invaders of their territories and the danger to their ancient traditions. The men who took part in this process of expansion, and invasion, took it for granted that their Native American counterparts could not be trusted for the most part. The story is Samuel Ogden Leonard, the Mountain Man, began in eighteen twenty when he was just sixteen years old. In the summer of that year he met a consummate mountain man, Clyde Patterson, who had been a companion of one of the first, is not the first mountain man, John Coulter. After Coulter’s death in the war of eighteen twelve, Patterson continued his life as a mountain man, mostly alone as a free trapper. He saw in Young Sam Ogden, not just the makings of a mountain man but the makings of a great mountain man he was fascinated with the experience that Young Sam had already had in the short time that he had spent in the Rocky mountain region. He wanted to pass on to his protégé, the skills that would make him one of the greatest mountain men to ever live. In order to do that, young Samuel had to learn the secrets that are revealed in this volume, “Winter Down.”

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Robert M Johnson is spent a good portion of his adult life living in mountain regions. The life of frontiersmen like Sam Ogden is a constant struggle with the elements changes in seasons, altitude, animal migrations, and human greed. This is the second volume of the Sam Ogden series where we see the young man, still seventeen years old taking on the challenges of a true mountain man. Along with his mentor, Clyde Patterson, he decides to journey all the way to the great ocean, an adventure that proves to be an almost impossible challenge, in 1821. The two men continued to work the beaver trade which is now thriving in the 1820s in the Rocky Mountain Territories. Mountain Man, Clyde Patterson, became fascinated with the story of his young protégé, who at sixteen years old had escaped a Grizzly Bear attack and had been captured by Indians and escaped! It was Patterson who gave young Sam Ogden, the title of being “Hard to Kill,” which served as the title for the first volume in this series. Between them, they have created a lifestyle of free trapping and wintering in the mountains. In this volume, “Winter Down,” the reader follows the day-to-day life of men who truly had the freedom to move about the new territories at will. They had to be ready for any of the challenges that might come their way, from hostile Native Americans, to grizzly bears, to winter storms that might dump two or three feet of snow on their cabin at one time. The moments of beauty and quiet in this very active life made it all worthwhile. Together the two men were discovering the joys of reading and writing and one day hoped to leave a Journal of their experience as mountain men who truly were able to, “Winter Down.”

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