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.

Post a Comment