1994 29¢ Jim Beckwourth
Legends of the West
Issue Date: October 18, 1994
City: Laramie, WY, Tucson, AZ and Lawton, OK
Quantity: 19,282,800 panes
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10.1 x 10
The settlement of the territory between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean owes much to the colorful scouts of our nation’s history. Masters of the art of survival in uncharted territory, their knowledge of the land and its perils made them invaluable as guides for explorers, missionaries, surveying expeditions, and emigrant wagon trains. And their wisdom proved vital to the U.S. Army, as many scouts knew the rudiments of Native American languages and could act as interpreters and peacemakers.
One such scout was Jim Beckwourth. Born a slave in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he was emancipated in 1810, and spent six years of his life living with the Crow Indians. Hired for a fur-trapping expedition into the Rocky Mountains in 1824, Beckwourth was lured to the life of a scout.
While serving as a scout for the U.S. Army, he discovered a pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Located near present-day Reno, this pass became part of a major emigration route to California. Beckwourth also participated briefly in the Mexican War and served as a guide and interpreter for U.S. troops during the Cheyenne War in 1864. He eventually settled in Denver, Colorado.