How common were handguns in the Oregon Country ca. 1810s-30s?

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Fur Trade' started by hyuzu, Sep 5, 2019.

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  1. Sep 5, 2019 #1

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

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    My sources have plenty of information on long-guns taken out by fur traders and trappers to the Oregon Country during this period, but I haven't seen a lot of mention of handguns, I assume primarily because they're not as likely to stop a bear or a mountain lion...

    I'm still curious though if there is any info, say from companies like the HBC or NWC, about how common handguns were in those days among Europeans and Euro-Americans who came to the region? Also, any info on makes/patterns would be interesting to hear...
     
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  2. Sep 5, 2019 #2

    Grimord

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    According to the manifest for the 1834 rendezvous, there were several large bore pistols brought out. Many of the pistols were kept in pommel holsters on the horse. There are drawings of pistols tucked into the waistband of a trapper. I don't know how common they were, but they were available.
     
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  3. Sep 5, 2019 #3

    tenngun

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    HBC contracted for a trade pistol. It was not seen in the number of the fusil but was there. And Russia supplied a pistol to their trappers. Russian presence along the west cost into Northern California is an over looked part of our popular view of the western fur trade since they remained most active in Alaska.
    The Hawkins turned out large bore pistols. Jedidiah Smith had two on him when he was killed on the Santa Fe trail, he had been coming directly from St. Louis.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2019 #4

    tenngun

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    Firearms traps and tools of the mountain men by Russel and the first book of buckskinning and I think the third has some good photos of mountain man era pistols
     
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  5. Sep 6, 2019 #5

    hyuzu

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    Thanks for the leads, guys. Gives me something to look in to.
    @tenngun I agree with you about Russia's presence in the Northwest being often overlooked, at least in Anglophone history. I remember posting a couple threads on Russian America here, didn't get much feedback though. There are some interesting works published in English if anyone is curious...
     
  6. Oct 7, 2019 #6

    wiksmo

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    I would like to know more about Russian involvement in the NW. Would appreciate it, if some of the works be listed...TIA.

    wiksmo
     
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  7. Oct 7, 2019 #7

    Travler

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    I also would appreciate references on Russian trapping in the NorthWest. Thanks!
     
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  8. Oct 8, 2019 #8

    hyuzu

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    @wiksmo @Travler

    This book has some good demographic info and history on the Russian-American colonies from Alaska down to California: 'Russian Population in Alaska and California: The Late 18th Century-1867' by Svetlana Fedorova.

    This website has some tidbits about Fort Ross: https://www.fortross.org/history.htm

    This book has information about Russian settlement in California: 'California Through Russian Eyes, 1806–1848' by James R. Gibson.

    Another book focusing on Russian settlement in California: 'So Far from Home: Russians in Early California' by Glenn J. Farris.

    This article from the Oregon Historical Quarterly has some economic and population info on Russian America overall in the early 1820s, including the Ross colony in California: https://www.fortross.org/lib/48/russian-america-in-1821.pdf
     
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  9. Oct 8, 2019 #9

    wiksmo

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    @hyuzu
    Appreciate the starting list, Hyuzu. I glanced through the text descriptions and the Conservancy articles, and see some very interesting information. Looking forward to digging further through these reads.

    wiksmo
     
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  10. Oct 8, 2019 #10

    Travler

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    @hyuzu
    I second what wiksmo said. Interesting stuff. I knew the name Russian River, but ignorant of Fort Ross and this leg of our history. I will continue to read as I can. Thanks for the info!
     
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  11. Oct 8, 2019 #11

    hyuzu

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    Happy to help. Folks around here have been good at educating me, so least I can do is return the favour with some book links :p
     
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  12. Oct 8, 2019 #12

    Zonie

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    I know when I visited it on my motorcycle, I was surprised to find that Bodega Bay, about 45 miles north of the Golden Gate bridge was the first place in California to have a Russian built building. It was built in 1809.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodega_Bay,_California
     
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