At Last,These silent voices of women from
the Wilderness will be heard!
Who were the women of the fur trade?
Here is the advice given to Kit Carson by the old mountaineer, "Blackfoot" Smith: "Valgame Dios! Your shanty is a pore make-out compared to this hyar Injun Lodge. Leaky and cold and open to the weather, and whar's the fire when you come in at night half froze for a hot kettle of soup?...Why should you freeze all winter like a starvin' coyote?... Its time you womaned Kit, and that's a fact."
"Maybe you're thinking of some sickly gal from the settlements, thin as a rail and pale as a ghost, pretty as a pitcher and so fufurraw she's good for nothin'. Maybe so you've sot you're eyes on some wench to Taos or Santy Fee. Do you hear now? Leave the pale face gal to them that knows no better. Put out and trap a squaw, and the sooner the better."
"What a mountain man wants is an Injun woman-one who can pack a mule, make meat, dress robes, make moccasins, cook, pitch a lodge, ride all day and then give birth to a likely young 'un after sundown. Look at me, Kit. I'm warm, I'm comfortable, I'm happy as a bear in winter quarters, with the old gal settin' hyar beside me. When I come home at night, froze stiff with cold and starvin', I can see the big old yeller lodge all lit up like a lantern among the pines, and I know when I go in, thar the old gal will be, with a good fire burning and the kettle steamin'...My old gal is some, she is. I wouldn't swap her for all the beaver in Bent's big lodge. She kin make a home for me whever grass grows, and ye can lay kin to that!"
The Founding Members of the W.F.T
The purpose of this society is to encourage research, learning, teaching and the preservation of the history and skills of the women of the fur trade era. Emphases are placed on women who were married to or associated with the mountaineer trapper. At last, these silent voices of women from the wilderness will be heard by the general public! Women like Marie Dorian, Mountain Lamb, Sacajewa, Pine Leaf, Watkuweis of the Nez Perce, and others whose names and stories have been lost to history.