Men in Eden

Men in Eden

William Drummond Stewart and Same-sex Desire in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade

Book - 2012
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The American West of the nineteenth century was a world of freedom and adventure for men of every stripe--not least also those who admired and desired other men. Among these sojourners was William Drummond Stewart, a flamboyant Scottish nobleman who found in American culture of the 1830s and 1840s a cultural milieu of openness in which men could pursue same-sex relationships. This book traces Stewart's travels from his arrival in America in 1832 to his return to Murthly Castle in Perthshire, Scotland, with his French Canadian-Cree Indian companion, Antoine Clement, one of the most skilled hunters in the Rockies. Benemann chronicles Stewart's friendships with such notables as Kit Carson, William Sublette, Marcus Whitman, and Jim Bridger. He describes the wild Renaissance-costume party held by Stewart and Clement upon their return to America--a journey that ended in scandal. Through Stewart's letters and novels, Benemann shows that Stewart was one of many men drawn to the sexual freedom offered by the West. His book provides a tantalizing new perspective on the Rocky Mountain fur trade and the role of homosexuality in shaping the American West.
Publisher: Lincoln :, University of Nebraska Press,, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780803237780
Branch Call Number: 306.7660978 BE
Characteristics: ix, 343 pages, 26 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Oct 09, 2014

Exhaustively researched biography and entertaining read about William Drummond Stewart and his journey from Scottish privilege to the battlefields of Waterloo to the plains and Rocky Mountains at the zenith of the American fur trade in the 1830s and 40s. Author retraces how men related to each other in the times and circumstances in a way that contemporary readers can recognize.


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