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Thomas Fitzpatrick, AKA Broken Hand, Part 2



Thomas Fitzpatrick, AKA Broken Hand, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.92

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    mid-19th, rendezvous, emigrant, dispatches, manifest, high-top, forged, trapper, attendance, unmarked, expedition, widely, prominent, successful, capable, market
     content words:    Blackfoot Indians, Snake River, Jackson Hole, Broken Hand, Native Americans, Mountain Men, Rocky Mountains, Westward Movement, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Marcus Whitman


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Thomas Fitzpatrick, AKA Broken Hand, Part 2
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Fitzpatrick lost part of his left hand during his later fur trading days while trying to escape a band of angry Blackfoot Indians. The story goes that he narrowly escaped capture by jumping his horse off a steep bluff into the Snake River near Jackson Hole. Upon surfacing, he climbed out of the river only to see the Blackfoot still in pursuit. As he quickly tried to pull his rifle out of its case, it misfired, taking part of his hand off. The story has a few different versions. It has never been verified. Regardless of the accuracy of the story, he lost two fingers in the accident. From then on Fitzpatrick was known as "Broken Hand" by the Native Americans.
 
2     In 1840, the last fur trade rendezvous took place. The supply of beaver was diminished. The high-top silk hat replaced the beaver hat in fashion around the world. The beaver market was gone.
 
3     At around the same time, Americans began to look to the west for cheap land and their "manifest destiny." Fur traders and Mountain Men that had earlier forged the trails across the Rocky Mountains now led the first wagon trains to California and Oregon country. The fur trade was disappearing, but the Westward Movement was beginning.

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