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John Colter
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    (circa 1773-circa 1813)
    Born in Stuarts Draft, Virginia
    Member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806)
    Considered the first 'mountain man'
    The details of both his birth and death are up for dispute. His exact birthday is unknown as well as the exact details of his death.
    He asked to be discharged from the Lewis and Clark expedition during the return trip in order to join a group of fur trappers that were traveling in the opposite direction.
    After being with the trappers for a few months, he decided to leave the wilderness and head back to civilization only to join yet another group of different trappers and go back to the wilderness. (Could he not make up his mind?)
    He was a tobacco user.
    He had numerous bloody encounters with members of the Blackfoot tribe, yet kept entering their territory.
    William Clark gave him an honorable discharge from their expedition before it was completed.
    He was the first American and white man to see the Grand Teton mountain range, view Yellowstone basin, map Wyoming , and enter what is now northern Idaho .
    His descriptions of Yellowstone as a place where 'mud boiled and smoke constantly rose from the ground' were believed to be tall tales in his time.
    In 1809 he and a companion were caught by Blackfoot Indians. After killing his partner, the Indians stripped him naked and he was told to run for for his life while his captors pursued him. Colter managed to kill one and escaped. He then walked naked and barefoot for a week to reach a trading post.
    He volunteered for the War of 1812, and according to one source, died in combat.

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