Barton H. Barbour, a transplanted New Yorker who has traveled and lived all over the West, has a long-standing passion for Western North American history. He is the author of five books and several articles about fur traders and Indians, and he teaches US History at Boise State University. Barton’s recent research resulted in the publication of Fort Union and the Upper Missouri Fur Trade, and a new biography of Jedediah S. Smith. An engaging and experienced speaker, Dr. Barbour is eager to share his love of the American West with audiences.
Drawing on research materials he gathered to write a book-length biography of Jedediah S. Smith, Dr. Babour offers a new "take" on Smith. Barbour's interpretation of Smith's life experiences differ substantially from that of his great early biographers, Maurice Sullivan and Dale Morgan, whose books appeared well over fifty years ago. New documentary materials bearing upon Smith, and "modern" interpretative frameworks,called for a re-thinking of Smith and his "meaning" in Western US history.
John L. Hatcher was a well-know Southwestern mountain man whose stories, jokes and comments were recorded by Lewis H. Garrard in his 1850 classic, Wah-To-Yah and Taos Trail. This is an hour-long Chautauqua-style presentation which casts Barbour in the role of Hatcher. Using the original jaragon of the 1840s trappers, he relates stories about Hatcher's life as a trapper and his experiences in New Mexico after the US takeover in 1846.