Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Account of Joe Meek:

Joe Meek’s (Reference) description is relative brief, but confirms the main points of the story.  

"Fitzpatrick had met with an adventure, as had been conjectured. While coming up the  Green river valley, he descried a small party of mounted men, whom he mistook for a company of trappers, and stopped to reconnoiter; but almost at the same moment the supposed trappers, perceiving him, set up a yell that quickly undeceived him, and compelled him to flight. Abandoning his pack-horse, he put the other to its topmost speed, and succeeded in gaining the mountains, where in a deep and dark defile he secreted himself until he judged the Indians had left that part of the valley. In this he was deceived, for no sooner did he emerge again into the open country, than he was once more pursued, and had to abandon his horse, to take refuge among the cliffs of the mountains. Here he remained for several days, without blankets or provisions, and with only one charge of ammunition, which was in his rifle, and kept for self-defense. At length, however, by frequent reconnoitering, he managed to elude his enemies, traveling by night, until he fortunately met with the two hunters from camp, and was conveyed by them to the rendezvous."

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