[Dea]th of a Celebrated Scout and Guid[e]
(From the Kansas City Mail.)
Bridger, one of the last survivors of the early mountaineers whose headquarters
were in this part of the country, died at his residence near New Santa
Fé, in this county, at five o'clock yesterday afternoon. Mr.
Bridger had passed his seventy-sixth birthday anniversary, that event
taking place in last March. He was a Virginian by birth. He had been
a scout, guide and plainsman for about thirty years. About sixteen years
ago while riding a 'bucking' mule he received injuries that permanently
disabled him. After that he retired from active life. For [t]hree years
or more he has been in his dotage. He once got lost within half a mile
of his own house. Old age and confinement to one place caused the veteran
plainsman's vital forces to give way with sure and rapid decline. To
use a common expression he died of old age. His death was painless,
the flame of life burned down to the socket and noiselessly expired.
a family of three children, all grown. One of the daughters is the wife
of Mr. A. Witchman, of Westport. Mr. Bridger had at the time of his
death a claim before Congress for money due him on account of the occupation
of his fort by United States soldiers. Bridger sold his fort and grounds
in good faith. For this he received no 'cash down.' The war came on,
attention was ab[so?]rbed by it, and Congress did not give a thought
... making provision for the payment of the poor old guide's claim.
The Bridger family will throw off all interest if an appropriation of
$210,000 for the payment of the principal is made. If it had not be[e]n
for 'Old Jim,' as he was called, General Fre[mo]nt's great Western exploring
expedition would not have been a success. For a great portion of the
way Bridger acted as a guide."
finer complimen[t] ... paid the Warwickshire wizard by Jim Bridger,
the famous scout, who died a year or so ago. He once tried city life,
but soon bade good-by to New York and returned to his old station in
Utah; none the sadder for his experience, but somewhat wiser, inasmuch
as he had learned that a man named Shakespeare had lived and written
'A Midsummer Night's Drean,' with which the old backwoodsman's fancy
had been deeply impressed. One day a traveler came to Fort Bridger,
and, after looking over Jim's stock, set his heart on a yoke of oxen,
with which he did not desire to part, and the customer went his way
unsatisfied. Next morning a messenger came to Fort Bridger from him
to say he must have that yoke.
just waiting for 'em,' said the man; 'a sitting there, reading a book
on his feet in a moment, and off to [t]he corral.
said he, 'give me that book and [t]ake them oxen.'
welcome to the book' was the answer; 'but I'll pay for the oxen.'
obdurate, however, and had his way. As soon as he got home with his
treasure, Jim hired a reader, and every evening followed the fortunes
of Shakespeare's heroes and heroines. One evening, the reader had just
made an end of the crook-backed king's appeal to Tyrrel to remove his
sweet sleep's disturbers, when his auditor, springing from his seat,
on there! Jest wait till I get my [gun?] and ... shoot that darned scoundrel!'
"A [Pic]turesque pioneer.
Alb[ert] H. Pfelffer's [sic, should read, "Pfeiffer's"] Revenge
for t[he] ... Murder of His Wife.
Del Norte Prospector.
For the past six months Col. Pfeiffer has been bedfast, and at no time
have hopes been entertained of his recovery. On Wednesday, April 6,
1881, at about 11 o'clock, he died. His last request was that he be
buried quietly and unostentatiously. He was interred among the foothills
overlooking his beautiful ranch, with no crowd or ceremony, only five
H. Pfeiffer was born in Friesland, on the coast of Holland, in October,
1822 His father is, or was, a Lutheran minister and his mother was of
Scotch descent, from a Scotch noble family. He left his native country
when 22 years of age and came directly to the West as a soldier in the
ranks. He married a Spanish girl of Aboquin, New Mexico, when about
34 years old, by whom he had two or three children, only one of whom
at this point in his life when he gained national celebrity. He was
in command of Fort [McC]rae and was taken ill. There are some ... rings
located about six miles from the ...nd near the Rio Grande River. Himself.
[sic] w... and [a]nother lady, with an escort of ... [sol?]diers, went
there to bathe, and ...e was still in the bath the Apache Ind[ians]
rushed down on them, whopping and yelling like the demons that they
were, and frightened the soldiers so that they took to their heels and
escaped; but not so with the ladies--both were shot dead. Col. Pfeiffer
leaped to the bank, grasped his rfle [sic] and fired, killing one of
the fiends; but the odds was too great, and his onl[y] escape was in
running and plunging in[to the] river, which he did, but not before
two a[rrows] one of which was poisoned, had been l... his left side
and leg. He managaed to .... river, found medical aid, and seemed ....
from the wounds. Then it was that the Ind[ian] found a terror in our
hero. Many were the red fiends that fell victims to his unerring rifle.
He fought in any capacity offered. He would at ... time be at the head
of a band of In[dia]ns who were at war with the Apaches, ... again he
would muster up a body of Mexicans or whites and go on the warpath,
thirsting for vengeance. The principal part of his fighting was done
under Kit Carson, and he was an associate of Bill Bent, St. Vrain, Maxwell,
and others of a like stamp. From the time [of] the death of his wife
he led a roving life. ... off to every new discovery, and wherever ...
could be of use to white men.
to this valley about thirty years ago, ... [d]escribed it as being the
finest country he ... aw. All along the Rio Grande and on the .... aller
streams game of all kinds abound[ed] ... the Indian roamed at will,
and was .... he surveyed."
Letter from Albert H. Pfeiffer
"What shall I write you? Since I last saw you I was most in the
mountains, came sometimes with my old ennemies [sic] as the Navajoes
& Apaches in [Callusion??], you know, not much politeness exist
between them & myself. I wish the devil would fly away with them.
I had build a [Block?]house on the Nacimienta and them Rascals burnt
the house as I was absent, Sobita the Ute Chief & myself, followed
on the trail and then they were remarkable quiet afterwards. ...
Alb. H. Pfeiffer [Taylor has added, "Lieut Col. 1st New Mexico
vols. in Re..."]