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The History of Braintan:    page 4

The American Frontier

Lewis and Clark at Three Forks, MT.
Lewis and Clark in buckskins at Three Forks, Montana.
(drawing by E.S. Paxson)
Buckskin continued to be worn by Indians and frontiers-people alike down through the civil war. It was worn by the early miners of the California gold rush. It was worn by mountain men, trappers and missionaries. It was worn by the Texas Rangers, and many of those who died in the Alamo. The riders of the Pony Express claimed that it was ideal for cutting cold winds. It was part of the attire of both sides in the battles between the U.S. Cavalry and the Indians. But most of all it was worn by just plain folks.

Jim Bridger in buckskin jacket
Jim Bridger, a trapper,
in a buckskin jacket
Buckskins were a sign of who was prepared for the rigors of the frontier and who was not. Gustav Dresel, a young German immigrant in the days of the Texas Republic, put it this way:
"I joined the seven huntsmen, who (were) clad in buckskin from head to foot... My trousers were partially trimmed with buckskin, it is true, and my coat was made of beaverteen (twilled cotton) but they prophesied that even after only a week I should not be able to recognize my exterior because the briars, the thicket, and the wet high grass would harass me so hard. I had traversed the region on the Navasota athwart forest and prairie for four days when rags of my inexpressibles were already suspended from my legs."
In a letter dated January 16, 1822, Maria Austin wrote her son, Stephen, in Texas:
"I should have exerted myself in fitting him (brother James) out, agreeable to your wishes--especially in getting him a suit of buckskin. It grieves me whenever I think what a poor outfit he had, so improper for the work he will find necessary to be done."
Did Mother Austin soak her hides in brains? This is not certain. Many during this era used a mixture of soap and lard instead.

 
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