Hugh Glass

d.c. 1833

Glass, Hugh, mountain man (d.c. 1833). Nothing is known of his birth or early years save that he probably was of Irish descent, and was educated. He may have been a seaman and a Gulf of Mexico pirate, probably with the Lafittes (Laffites). Escaping the buccaneer ship to the Texas coast, he and another wandered inland, the legend goes, and were captured by Indians identified improbably as Pawnees. Escaping once again to St. Louis, he joined Ashley for the 1823 expedition up the Missouri River. Glass was wounded at the Arickara battle; recovered, he was one of 13 men who moved overland to the relief of a fur gathering crew left at Fort Henry, at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Late in August 1823, Glass was severely mauled by a grizzly and left with two volunteer companions, young Jim Bridger and John S. Fitzgerald, it is said. These became convinced he could not live, and abandoned him; Glass recovered sufficiently to crawl 300 miles down the Grand River to the Missouri, was befriended by Indians, and eventually reached Fort Kiowa, above the confluence of the White and Missouri Rivers. Recovered, Glass reportedly pursued the two who had abandoned him, back up the Missouri and the Yellowstone to the Big Horn where he found Bridger and spared him because of his youth; Glass continued by way of the Platte down to Fort Atkinson on the Missouri seeking Fitzgerald, having one narrow escape after another, only to discover finally that the man he sought had joined the army and was beyond reach. Glass traded to Santa Fe, trapped the Ute country, was dangerously wounded by an arrow. Recovered he continued as a free trapper, then became a meat hunter out of Fort Union. He was killed with Edward Rose and another on the Yellowstone River ice below the Big Horn by Arikaras.