Scott’s Bluff

Miller’s paintings of Scott’s Bluff and Chimney Rock are reproduced in our plates. The convention of Western books requires me to remind the reader that the former were named for a Smith, Jackson & Sublette man who fell ill at Laramie Creek, more than fifty miles to the west, was abandoned by the trappers left to care for him, and in his delirium wandered and crawled this far toward home before dying. His bones were found at the foot of the bluffs the next year by the same party on its way back to the mountains. The story was first told by Irving. Some distance west of Ash Hollow, where the trail usually reached the North Platte, was Brady’s Island, supposed to have taken its name from a similar incident. Two trappers of a party who were taking furs down the Platte by boat quarreled and one of them, Brady, was killed by the other while the two were alone in camp. The murderer reported that Brady’s own gun had been accidentally discharged and killed him. Farther along the trail he accidentally shot himself and confessed his crime before dying. Rufus Sage says that the deaths took place ‘some eight years ago,’ which would make the date 1833, Stewart’s first year in the West. In 1838, Myra Eells, spelling the name ‘Brada,’ makes the date 1827.