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Jim Bridger
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    (March 14, 1804-July 17, 1881)
    Born in Richmond, Virginia
    Fur trapper and explorer of the American West
    Considered one of the greatest 'mountain men'
    Founded Fort Bridger, Wyoming as a trading post (1843)
    He was a known fabricator of tall tales, and it led many to disbelieve him about several of his legitimate discoveries.
    Along with another trapper, Bridger left Hugh Glass to die after he was attacked by a bear.
    He supplied Indians with alcohol and weapons at his trading post. In 1853, Mormon pioneers in the area attempted to arrest him for this.
    He served the US Army as a scout during the early stages of Red Cloud's War.
    He is believed to have been the first white man and American to view the Great Salt Lake, which he thought to be an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.
    His 'tall tales' about steam and water shooting from holes in the ground were later proven to be fact after more white men entered the Yellowstone area.
    He did not rely on the use of maps to navigate the American West, instead only using his memory.
    A natural story teller, he was able to impress not only whites with his tales but also Indians who he communicated to with sign language.
    The US Government hired him to draw maps of the West for their use, due to his unsurpassed knowledge of the area.
    He discovered a pass, later known as Bridger's Pass, that shortened the length of the Oregon Trail by 61 miles.
    He was almost totally blind in his old age.

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