201 Hugh Glass Facts: Adventures, Family, Survival Stories And More | Kidadl


201 Hugh Glass Facts: Adventures, Family, Survival Stories And More

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Have you heard or read about the real story of Hugh Glass?

What makes his stories so near to the heart? Hugh Glass has achieved enormous fame due to his superhuman strength and presence of mind in his role as a frontiersman, hunter, and trader.

In history, innumerable fur trappers and explorers had to confront dire situations while trekking the vast expanse of mountains and valleys. Still, they were nothing like the perils Hugh Glass had to experience during his lifetime. Glass has been nothing less than a Herculean hero in the ways he escaped his death by sheer willpower and intellect. His showdown with the bear puts him on a pedestal among all adventurous encounters. 

Are you aware that this world-famous heroic explorer was commemorated with a statue after his death? Glass' monument has been erected on the spot where the bear mauled him. It can be found on the shore of Shadehill Reservoir, located near the Grand River in Perkins County of South Dakota. The sculpture depicts a life-size metallic statue of Glass with a dagger in hand engaged in a scuffle with the deadly bear. The statue is symbolic of survival instincts and a reminder of the legendary tale of Glass.

To know more about the mystifying adventures of Hugh Glass, continue reading and if you want to learn some more mind-boggling stories, then check out these amazing facts about William Blake and William of Normandy facts.

Facts About Hugh Glass

Although the adventures that constitute a significant part of Hugh Glass' story sound exceptionally unreal, it's unnerving to learn that these events do have a special place on the pages of history. His constant duels with death and resolute nature as a mountain man make him an idolized figure.

Interestingly, Glass found himself in successive adventurous exploits, beginning with the pirates dwelling with tribe members and working as a huntsman for the nation. Glass has been lauded for his demigod-like spirit while dealing with hostile circumstances. He played with fire as a mountain man. The stories of Glass have hence been retold and passed down from generation to generation through various mediums, including poems, dramas, and movies. 

If you're a movie buff, you would be glad to know that two iconic movies, namely 'The Revenant' and 'The Man in the Wilderness,' have been adapted from the Hugh Glass story. 'The Revenant' starring Leonardo DiCaprio was the latest adaptation that was released in 2015. The events have been taken from Michael Punke's novel of the same name. Do you know what 'revenant' means? The term refers to a person who has defeated death by returning from the dead. Very symbolic, right? In fact, Glass' death-defying story was retold in a TV series as well. The episode in 'Death Valley Days' (1966) was called 'Hugh Glass Meets the Bear.' On the other hand, Frederick Manfred's book named 'Lord Grizzly' received a nomination for the National Book Award. The story draws heavily on the struggles of Hugh Glass.

Facts About Hugh Glass' Family

These facts about Hugh Glass' early life and his family are equally intriguing as the latter half of his life. Have a look!

Although most of Glass' early life is shrouded in mysteries, his birth is believed to be in the year 1783 in the Pennsylvanian town of Scranton. His parents immigrated from Britain but were Irish. However, there's a lack of documentary evidence to prove the origins of Glass or his parents. 

Hugh Glass was one of the world's famous explorers. Additionally, he was a fur trapper, hunter, trader, and frontiersman. He is glorified as a hero all over the world after his encounter story with the grizzly bear became famous. After surviving the bear attack, Glass was recruited as a huntsman by the US military. Glass evaded death multiple times. Still, unfortunately, his altercation and hostile relationship with the Arikara finally led to his death at the beginning of 1833. He survived for another ten years after the bear attack as the extraordinary mountain man was well past his 50s and was buried in a grave near the bank of Yellowstone River. He was an unrelenting fighter who was unperturbed even in the direst of circumstances as he fought valiantly till his death.

Hugh Glass facts instill the spirit of adventure and courage to stick to the guns despite adversities.

Hugh Glass' Adventures

Hugh Glass' adventure stories have left the entire world at the edge of the seat. There's a lot of curiosity and speculation surrounding his escapades. His cleverness and survival strategies helped him overcome some of the major weaknesses that incapacitated him at several junctures. Here are some bits and pieces from his adventures that would fill you with awe.

Before the grizzly bear attack, a significant section of Glass' life is obscure. However, there are numerous tales about his life as a frontiersman. A fascinating account reveals that Glass was pitted against the pirates dominating the Gulf of Mexico under the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte in 1816. Glass was ultimately captured and forced to turn into a pirate, where he served the brotherhood for about two years. He somehow managed to escape from the community of pirates by plunging into risky waters infested with deadly sharks. He maneuvered his way to the shore and reached the modern-day Galveston in Southeast Texas.

According to another rumor, Glass was again entrapped by the Native American Pawnee Tribe. The tribe didn't execute him and allowed him to live within their community. Glass spent several years of his career dwelling with the tribesmen. In 1821, a meeting was held between some government officials and Pawnee delegates. Glass was among the delegates sent to St. Louis, Missouri, to meet the US authorities. After the meeting, Glass chose to stay back.

Do you know that the bear incident was not the last threatening event that Glass had to put up with? After Glass recuperated from the bear wounds, he was driven by vengeance, so he took up another arduous journey to trace his companions who had betrayed him in the time of crisis. Juggling through vulnerable situations, Glass succeeded in seeking help from the Columbia Fur Company. He was ferried to the eastern section of the Missouri River, after which he had to take up a 250 mi (402 km) long trek to Fort Henry. During this pursuit, he was miraculously saved from the Arikara Indians (also known as Rees) by the Mandan warriors who shared some rivalry with the Rees.

Do you know which rifle was used by Glass? As legends would have it, Hugh Glass owned a Pennsylvania Flintlock Rifle. Glass possessed commendable survival skills, which helped him push his way through the arduous events that lined his path to Fort Kiowa. Even with his severed body, Glass managed to extract buffalo berries from surrounding bushes. He then crushed and softened them with water from the nearby spring and somehow swallowed them despite the mangled throat. He even slaughtered a rattlesnake and fed on the softened raw meat that he scraped off the snakeskin. Walking with a broken leg was out of the question, so just like a quadruped, he moved on all fours. 

To avert gangrene, he didn't even stop the maggots from feasting on the infected flesh. Glass progressed slowly and steadily as he crawled away 1 mi (1.61 km) after another. At one stage in his journey, he came across a pack of wolves feeding on a freshly hunted buffalo calf. He managed to drive off the wolves, most probably by lighting a fire, and then he spent some days there drying the meat strips that he removed from the hide of the dead buffalo calf. Following the feeding and resting period, Glass regained a lot of his strength and was able to limp on his feet. On his way, luck favored him as he met some Sioux travelers who sympathized with his condition and aided him by cleaning up the festering maggot-infested wounds on the back. They also escorted him to his destination.

Hugh Glass' Survival Stories

The survival stories of Hugh Glass are miraculous and inspiring, but his story of survival associated with the terrifying grizzly bear attack steals the deal. A few sections of the occurrences are not credible as they overlap with mythological addons. However, the mythological element doesn't steal the sparkle out of the real story; rather, it enhances the struggles of Glass that offer him a heroic stature in the eyes of the world.

After a year of attaining freedom from the Pawnee tribe, Glass decided to be a part of an expedition led by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. General William Henry Ashley advertised in 'Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser' about a fur-trading expedition up the River Missouri that would require a team of 100 willing men. Several men like Thomas Fitzpatrick, James Beckwourth, Jim Bridger, William Sublette, Jedediah Smith, and David Jackson became a part of this team. Later, this team was popularly tagged as 'Ashley's Hundred.' Glass, however, joined this team a year later. 

During the ascent, several men faced an attack by the hostile Arikara warriors who intervened in their trail up the Missouri River. In this skirmish, Glass injured his leg as he was shot, and resultantly, the survivors retired downstream on the Grand River Valley and waited for help to arrive. One of his companions, John S. Gardner, succumbed to death on June 2, 1823. To communicate his companion's demise to his parents, Glass composed a letter informing them about the sad fate. By this time, the number of men gradually diminished from a hundred to just about thirty. Targeted at gathering beaver pelts from Upper Missouri located amidst the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, the Ashley-Henry team traveled overland to reach the Rocky Mountains.

Eventually, Glass, accompanied by some of Ashley's men, retreated and stopped at Fort Kiowa, where they reassembled their group for heading west towards the Yellowstone River. In August, Glass ventured out to scout for a game while the rest of his company rested. Unknowingly, he startled a grizzly bear who had two cubs in her company. At being threatened, the bear leaped on him, picking him up violently and tearing his flesh apart by biting. Glass let out calls for help and was immediately aided by his team. Although the bear was killed with the help of the trapping party, it had severely mauled Glass, and he was left with severe gashes and wounds. His team was sure that Glass wouldn't survive his injuries, yet he was carried along for two days upon the instructions of Ashley's partner, Andrew Henry. 

While Glass suffered from ceaseless physical agony, the team's pace slowed down considerably. It became impossible to tag him along, so Andrew asked two men of his party to remain with Glass till his death in return for a reward of $40 each. One of the volunteers was John Fitzgerald, and the other was a younger man regarded as 'Bridges.' According to the legends, the three of them were stationed in the safety of a canyon of the Grand River where the two volunteers initially fetched spring water for Glass and looked after him. However, neither did Glass' condition improve, nor did he die. So, both of them dug up a grave, extracted all his weapons, and abandoned him to join the rest of the company, falsely claiming that he was buried after death. 

On the other hand, Glass regained his consciousness of being completely isolated and unarmed. Fitzgerald and Bridges had carried away all his vital belongings, including his tomahawk, rifle, steel, flint, lead, powder, and knife. This added to his plight, almost equivalent to a death sentence forced upon him. Glass realized that his entire body was covered with deep cuts and festering wounds, his throat was oozing blood from the slit, while one of his legs was broken. Initially, he couldn't move or make a single sound due to a slit throat and high fever. Moreover, he was over 200 mi (320 km) away from Fort Kiowa, the nearest human settlement. Even in that mutilated state, Glass gradually gathered the courage and strength to drag himself up and wrap his body with bear hide. His survival instincts were working at their best. He crawled towards Fort Kiowa, located on the Missouri River. This journey to Fort Kiowa was filled with challenges, and it took him six weeks to reach his destination. Throughout the journey, he lived on wild berries, roots, and bugs. Glass exhibited conspicuous bravery in his encounter with the bear and in his ordeal of traveling in isolation. 

Once Glass recovered, he went out to pursue his two disloyal companions seeking revenge. First, he reached Fort Henry, but it was deserted. However, he found a note that indicated the company's whereabouts. He arrived at the new camp near Bighorn River and spotted Bridges, but he ultimately pardoned him because he was only 19 at the time of the incident. Then he came to know that the other unfaithful companion, John Fitzgerald, was at Fort Atkinson as a member of the US army. Murdering him would put him behind bars for a pretty long time, and Glass was unwilling to let go of his adventurous exploits. Out of no choice, he finally dropped the plan of assassinating him too but threatened to murder him if he ever got out of service. Glass then reverted to his former job as a fur trader and trapper.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 201 Hugh Glass facts: adventures, family, survival stories, and more, then why not take a look at William McKinley facts or William Gilbert facts?

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