Grizzly Adams Was A Revolutionary

In 1854, Adams retrieved a pair of two-week-old male grizzly cubs from the den of their mother near Yosemite Valley. He named one of them Benjamin Franklin. Ben saved John’s life a year later in 1855, when a mother grizzly attacked Adams. ¬†John and Ben both bore the scars of that attack the rest of their lives. The head injury John received in the attack led to his demise five years later. In the summer of 1854, John traveled to the Rocky Mountains to hunt and collect more live animals. He and his hunting companions sold meat, hides and some live animals to the emigrants along the Emigrant Trails near where the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail split away from each other (southwestern Wyoming). They also sold and traded at Fort Bridger, Wyoming and Fort Supply. During this expedition, Lady Washington had an amorous encounter with a Rocky Mountain grizzly. The mating resulted in a male cub that was born the next year when she was with Adams in Corral Hollow on the eastern side of the California coastal mountains. Adams christened her cub General Fremont, in honor of John C. Fremont.


In the winter of 1854, Grizzly Adams captured a huge California grizzly in the largest cage trap Adams had ever constructed. John named him Samson. When the monster bear was later weighed on a hay scale, it tipped the beam at 1,500 pounds (one of the largest grizzly bears ever captured alive).

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