July 24, 1841

Saturday, 24th. Remained at this encampment and continued our traffic with the hunters. Chiles sold his oxen, 2 yoke, and wagon, another also was left.

The hunters, or fur trappers, bought all the alcohol brought by Bartleson and others, as well as other items, like Joseph Chiles’s wagon and ox team. If the load in Chiles’s wagon was mostly whiskey, then he wouldn’t need the wagon anymore. Anything he had left he could put in someone else’s wagon.

Bidwell doesn’t say whether his group paid with money or bartered goods. It seems unlikely the hunters had much money, but they had goods the travelers could use, so it was probably mostly barter. Jimmy John says, “we stayed until the 25th and traded with the Indians and Trappers for horses and buffalo robes.” Maybe this is where Bidwell picked up the buckskin suit he later says he was wearing.

In tomorrow’s entry Bidwell will give some “mountain prices.”

Gathering of the Trappers, by Frederic Remington

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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