Jim Bridger


iSomething for the weekend.  Jim Bridger (1960), one of Johnny Horton’s historically themed songs.  Jim Bridger, unlike most of “Mountain Men” contemporaries, lived a very long life from 1804-1881, which is amazing considering some of his exploits.  Bridger was a life long illiterate, but always had a large store of common sense and was a very shrewd character.  A Zelig among “Mountain Men” he had a knack for being present for most significant events on the frontier until his retirement in the late 1860’s.  Physically a big, powerful man, his amiability and good humor probably served him best in his interactions with both Indians and Whites.  He was very fond of tall stories, for example talking about finding petrified birds, singing petrified songs.  One of his favorite routines was to tell newcomers to the frontier about how once he was being chased by one hundred Cheyenne warriors.  He would tell about how they chased him and the tricks he used to attempt to elude them, building the drama of the tale.  Finally the war party surrounded him.  He would then pause until his listeners would urgently ask what happened next.  Poker faced he would respond, “Why they killed me!”.

Published in: on June 11, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Jim Bridger  
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