About the

Mountain Men and the Fur Trade

AMM Virtual Research Center Project


The primary purpose of the AMM Virtual Research Center Project is to provide a means for the dissemination of information related to the history of the Mountain Men in the American West. We do this by creating a digital repository of historical materials pertaining to that period and region, and making it available via this website on a long-term basis.

Some benefits we hope to provide with a virtual research center of this sort are:


This site has been built and maintained by volunteers as a public service. It is sponsored by members of the American Mountain Men, a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is "to establish and maintain a permanent association for research into and study of the history, traditions, tools, mode of living, etc., of the trappers, explorers, and traders known as the Mountain Men."


The AMM Virtual Research Center Project focuses on the "Mountain Men" in the United States Rocky Mountain region in the first half of the 19th century. There are no hard-and-fast cutoff dates, but, in general we are most interested in events from approximately the time of the return of Lewis and Clark, up until the time when large numbers of settlers started traversing the Oregon Trail. We are focusing on the region that is now the western United States, although some material pertaining to Canadian and Mexican history also may be included.

The first priority is to provide an e-text collection of the most important historical source materials. These include books, articles from periodicals, images, manuscripts, letters, business records, maps, and descriptions of artifacts.

More details on how materials are chosen may be found the Collection Policy.


While materials on this web site are available to all, the primary focus of the Virtual Research Center is to meet the needs of history researchers studying this period and participants in "living history" activities investigating the authenticity of their portrayal. Teachers and parents should evaluate the suitability of this material before using with young school students.

Referencing this website

For researcher wishing to cite documents found on this website, the Library of Congress recommends these guidelines for citing electronic sources.

There is no need to ask for permission to cite or link to pages on this website. Please use the domain name "mtmen.org". The previous domain name used with this website (www.xmission.com/~drudy) may still work for the time being, but it should not be relied upon over the long term.

Some documents include markup that allow one to refer to a specific point within a document (chapter, or page number). You'll need to view the source html to see whether there are id attributes defined within your document of interest. This markup will eventually be added to some degree to all the documents (but it may take a while...).

Accuracy of Data

The text materials on this site have been electronically transcribed and converted to one or more of the target formats either manually, or by scanning and optical character recognition (OCR). Even the OCR'd documents must be manually proofread to correct the many errors that even state-of-the-art OCR software produces. In most cases, only a single pass of proofreading has been made, so some errors may remain. If any user spots an such error, please bring it to the attention of the webmaster, who will correct it. Note, however, that in most cases the source texts are replicated verbatim, including any original grammatical or spelling errors. Any deviations from the original source are unintentional, and will be corrected (made to conform to the original) if such errors are reported.

Despite these efforts, the materials found on this web site may contain faults. These faults may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, intellectual property infringement, or computer virus. The sponsor(s) of this web site disclaims all liability for damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, resulting from using the materials provided on this web site. These materials are provided "as-is". No other warranties of any kind, express or implied, are made.


These materials are being provided for educational and research purposes. We believe that the historical source materials provided on this website are not copyrighted, except for a few items for which permission has been obtained and so noted, or are fair use. The creators of most of this historical source material have been dead for well over a century. For this reason, you won't find footnotes written by modern historians which may still be protected by copyright.

The electronic texts provided on this web site should be considered new editions, based on public domain historical sources. These electronic transcriptions are sometimes created from multiple editions. Therefore, we do NOT necessarily keep these texts in compliance with any particular paper edition, usually otherwise. Original material created specifically for this website, such as introductory text, notes, bibliographies, etc. is copyright.

For anyone wishing to contribute texts to this project, Project Gutenburg has a web page of copyright guidelines that apply to this project as well.

Anyone wishing to make use of material on this website note that while we believe it is public domain or fair use, that this assessment may be erroneous and cannot be guaranteed. For any re-use of the material found on this website,responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of the copyright status of the material and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with the user.

Technical Standards

Technical standards related to the World Wide Web and digital libraries have matured significantly since this web site was first introduced in 1996. An ongoing effort is being made to upgrade the online presentation of the website and to adopt relevant technical standards. The overriding concept in the evolution of this web site, however, is that "content is king" and the web site structure should be simple, to allow the majority of effort to be devoted to expanding the collection. For more details, see our Technical Policy