Rising Wolf Mountain!
What a fitting and splendid monument it is to the first white man to traverse
the foothills of the Rockies between the Saskatchewan
and the Missouri!
Hugh Monroe was his English name. His father was Captain Hugh Monroe, of the
English army; his mother was Amélie de la Roche, a daughter of a noble family of French
émigrés. Hugh Monroe, Junior, was born in Montreal
in 1798. In
1814 he received permission to enter the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company,
and one year later—in the summer of 1815—he arrived at its new post, Mountain
Fort, on the North Fork of the
Saskatchewan and close to the foothills of the Rockies.
At that time the
Company had but recently entered Blackfeet territory, and none of its engagés
understood their language; an interpreter was needed, and the Factor appointed Monroe to fit himself for
the position. The Blackfeet were leaving the Fort to hunt and trap along the
tributaries of the Missouri
during the winter, and he went with them, under the protection of the head
chief, who had nineteen wives and two lodges and an immense band of horses. By
easy stages they traveled along the foot of the Rockies to Sun River, where
they wintered, and then in the spring, instead of returning to the
Saskatchewan, they crossed the Missouri, hunted in the Yellowstone country that
summer, wintered on the Missouri at the mouth of the Marias River, and returned
to Mountain Fort the following spring with all the furs their horses could
Instead of one
winter, Monroe had passed two years with the
tribe, and in that time had acquired a wife, a daughter of the great chief, a
good knowledge of the language, and an honorable name, Ma-kwi′-i-po-wak-sĭn
(Rising Wolf), which was given him because of his bravery in a battle with the
Crows in the Yellowstone country.