Mabel Crow

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What we know

1827 - 1879
Wife of Martin Crow, who explored Ute Territory and beyond to Yerba Buena. On his return trek to the States, he trapped beaver pelts and searched for Gold in Crystal River Valley. He died at the base of Crow’s Mountain in 1844. His party continued eastward, and Mabel homesteaded out in the newly opened Indian Territory. humans:saskatee, the Choctaw woman guide for Crow party, died from fever on the return journey.

The Seekers

Martin kept looking for his unknown land
floating his log raft down the Colorado—
It was the Northwest Passage this
and the Seven Cities of Gold that
and the dowser with its ivory
handles out at every hill.

And Mabel kept on behind him
with Saskatee guiding her
into the intricacies of turning
venison hides and rabbit fur
into cloaks and snowshoes
and a Godey’s hoop skirt1
with lead tucked in the hem to keep
the wind from blowing it around.

And after marking Martin’s grave
at the top of Crow’s Mountain,
she followed the Crystal River
back out of the mountains
to the edge of Indian Territory.

Homesteaded alone until
her eight-by-ten cabin
was swallowed up in the dust
of the sun.





Derby, George Horatio.Derby’s Report on Opening the Colorado, 1850-1851. From the Original Reports of George Horatio Derby. Edited by Odie B. Faulk. Albuquerque, New Mexico:University of New Mexico Press, 1969.

Faragher, John Mack.Women and Men on the Overland Trail. New Haven,
Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1979.
O’Meara, Walter.Daughters of the Country: The Women of the Fur Traders and
Mountain Men
. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc., 1968.

Pike, Zebulon Montgomery.The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, During the 1805-6-7. A new edition, reprinted in full from the original of 1810. Edited by Elliot Coues. Minneapolis,
Minnesota: Ross & Haines, 1965.

Portal caption and links

A pair of crossed snowshoes.
Perry Sue Gladston
Constanza Ascencione
Victoria Green
Jenny Wringle

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Portal for secret connections
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