July 6th

The American Fur Company party, including the missionaries, arrived at the Green River Rendezvous on July 6. Hundreds of Indians and trappers came annually to trade pelts, skins, guns, jewelry, clothing, saddles, bridles, tobacco, whiskey and more with representatives of the American Fur Company, which brought in wagonloads of items to trade. In addition to the trading, activities included horse racing, gambling, drinking, wrestling and even jousting in medieval armor and could continue for a few weeks.

When the missionaries arrived, the Indians crowded around to get their first view of white women. Narcissa’s strawberry blond hair amazed them as did the women’s clothing. Narcissa wrote “As soon as I alighted from my horse, I was met by a company of native women, one after the other, shaking hands and saluting me with a most hearty kiss. They gave Sister Spaulding the same salutation.” The Indian women were fascinated. They wanted to examine Narcissa and Eliza’s clothing, cooking utensils, possessions and books. Even the trappers jostled to get a glimpse of the first white women they had seen in years.

Colonel Parker, with whom Marcus had traveled west in 1834, was expected to meet the missionaries at the Rendezvous to advise them on the next leg of their journey. He did not show up and the missionaries were disappointed and worried. Unknown to them, Parker was on a ship headed home. So, despite the excitement of the pause in travel and the variety of activities, Marcus and Henry were worried about how the missionaries would continue their trip west. Henry wrote to the Board from the Rendezvous: “We travelled 1,700 miles to Liberty mostly by water; 1,300 from Liberty to this pace, all by land, and have yet 600 miles to make.’

The Upper Green River Rendezvous Site was named a National Historic Landmark in 1963, and reenactments are held every summer in Pinedale, WY.


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