1804 - Jim Bidger born in Richmond, Virginia

       Jim Bridger, born to saloon keepers in Richmond, Virginia, migrated west with his parents as a young boy.  At the age of 18 he joined "Ashley's One Hundred" in the frontier town of St. Louis.  For a hundred dollars a year, this fearless band of one hundred young men comprised the first large scale commercial fur expedition to the Rocky Mountains. 

      Over the next twenty years, Bridger and his good friend and future business partner, Thomas Fitzpatrick, survived the perils of life in the unmapped West to become living legends.  Neither man could spend more than a few days back in civilization before turning around and heading back to the wilderness.  Both married Indian women, and though Bridger never learned to read or write, he spoke twenty-four Indian languages and knew the terrain of the mountain west better than any man of his time.  

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