Francis Parkman’s Group

“[Parkman] could not suffer the Pukes or the Suckers. So he joined three Englishmen whom he had met at St. Louis, preparing for a summer on the plains, and who also wanted no truck with the “Kentucky fellows.” They were three of God’s innocents and one of them had high ranking among God’s bores. Captain Chandler had retired from Her Majesty’s Army on a competence; he had his brother with him and a Mr. Romaine. This was a faintly literary gentleman who bossed everything, knew nothing, was inept in all things, and expressed his type at the very beginning by leading them off the trail for a full week.

Yet he had to be accorded a certain authority since he had been on– and survived – a mountain expedition in 1841. Parkman had hired his mountain man, Henry Chatillon, and a humble Canadian pork-eater named Delorier; the Britishers had three engages. Ten strong altogether, with twenty-three horses and mules, they fled the movers into the prairies, where there would be no worse affiiction than the Pawnee. They intended to travel a long way, the Englishmen to the Pacific and Parkman as far as need be to find the noble savage in his unspoiled state. One supposes that Henry Chatillon assumed they must soon join a wagon train; otherwise, to take so small a party west was folly. “