The Strange Fate of Hiram Scott

The Tale of Hiram Scott

Living in east-central Wyoming, we often travel the 60, or so, miles to Scottsbluff Nebraska. The city was named after Hiram Scott (1805-1828) a Captain under Colonel Leavenworth, a trusted leader in the western fur trade working for William Henry Ashley and the famous Rocky Mountain Fur Company.

While in a canoe traveling down the North Platte River Scott’s canoe overturned. The well know trapper saying, “Keep your powder dry,” was upturned along with the canoe. The powered was wet and useless. The small group of men walked on toward the area that would one day become Fort Laramie living on what they could forage along the way, mostly roots and berries.
North Platte River Upstream From Fort Laramie

Scott, who reportedly had been ill, was left behind as the rest of his group, fearful of Indians wanted to push on. The next year another group found what was left of his body near Scottsbluff. Although sick and with no way to hunt or protect himself, he had managed to travel fifty miles east following the river. It is believed he crawled most of the way, being too weak to walk. One odd thing about this tale is that somehow he managed to cross the river. His body was found on the opposite bank of where he was supposedly left behind.
Laramie River on the Grounds of Fort Laramie

All of this makes a great story but begs the question, why was a 23-year-old man in such poor health. Much has been speculated as to why, but most believe he had been wounded in a fight with the Blackfoot somewhere near and around the time of the 1828 Rendezvous. Like so many early tales of the west, lots, and lots of loopholes remain, but most interesting. Seems, if nothing else, he lived quite a bit in his 23 years, traveling west from Missouri, attending three Rendezvous, battling with Indians, fighting for his life, and having a west Nebraska town named in his honor.
Chatting at the Rendezvous - This one a re-creation at Fort Laramie - summer 2015

From My Writing Site - Christmas is over, and now we are counting down to the New Year. Each year I make a few resolutions, and each year they seem to go quickly by the wayside. Last year I decided, for the first time, to keep track of how many words I wrote and published. I did it, but am not sure I will keep track this year, seemed to put too much pressure on me, and I started worrying about the days I didn’t write. Sometimes that causes a bit, or a whole bunch of bad writing, not worth saving. 

Oh, for the record, I wrote a tad less than a quarter of a million words this year. Quite a bit for me but partly because I wrote quite a lot recently, trying to finish up last year's goals.

Wyoming Christmas Stories

Under Western Skies, now .99 Cents
Great Christmas Reading – all set in the west

Give yourself a Christmas Present and for less than a buck. That’s right for five days, my book of 14 Western Christmas stories – Under Western Skies - is only .99 cents.
14 stories and 144 pages, plus a bonus chapter at the end from my western novel Commitment, 160+ pages in all and that’s a lot of reading for less than a dollar.

Wyoming Day and Books For Sale

Looks to me like I missed the only specific Wyoming Holiday – Wyoming Day, which is celebrated each year on December 10.  On that date in 1869 Territorial Governor John Campbell signed the bill that granted women the right to vote. The new law made Wyoming the first to allow the vote and the ability to legally hold elected office to women.

The bill originated because legislators believed the idea of women suffrage would be good publicity for the territory and might bring more single women to the state.

By Wyoming Statute, Wyoming Day, is supposed to be observed in schools and by other groups around the state each year. I am afraid that practice has long since fallen by the wayside. Too bad, this was a most significant step in American rights.

So How Cold Was It? - Seems like this time of year I normally post something about the weather and how tough the cold was on early settlers. I suppose that will be coming soon, but for now, I will only say, “I cannot imagine how early trappers could survive the cold like we had last week with temperatures plunging to double digits below zero.” BURR!

Thank You, Readers - Many thanks to all of the readers that have pushed my latest Wyoming novel, Ghost of the Fawn, up to number 30 in its category in softcover and number 91 in its eBook category.
If you have not given it a look yet, you can read a free sample here. The book was originally written for teenage readers, but it has found a terrific audience with adults. Thanks!

Meanwhile stay warm and keep reading and watching Christmas movies, we watch one nearly every evening. Christmas movies may be mostly sappy, but we need them, we need the feel good and warmth of the stories. I hope they keep them coming for many years to come.

A Nice Christmas Gift – Speaking of Christmas stories, here is the link to my book, from last year, of Christmas stories, you can read the entire first story for free, enjoy. UnderWestern Skies – 14 Tales of Christmas.

*All photos were taken on our Sunday trip to Laramie, Laramie City, in the old days, 100 miles away.