"Edmund Flagg was the first professional author to contribute to the Glass cycle." - The Saga of Hugh Glass: Pirate, Pawnee, and Mountain Man (1976).
"This is the famous story of the fight between Hugh Glass and the grizzly bear and Glass's subsequent adventures. It was printed for the first time in...October 19, 1839." - A Catalogue of the Everett D. Graff Collection of Western Americana (1968)
"Flagg wrote...that the two men who stayed with Glass were 'Fitzgerald and Bridges.' Some have taken this as proof that James Bridger was the youth." Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West (2021)
"Edmund Flagg's account of Glass asserts that Gardner burned three 'Erickeraws' alive when Glass was not handed over to him." The West of Willam H. Ashley (1964)
What is the true story of the famous Rocky Mountain trapper Hugh Glass and his harrowing tale of survival after a grizzly bear attack, and who are the two trappers who left him to die after the mauling?
Author Edmund Flagg offers some surprising answers in his 1839 account of Hugh Glass titled, "Adventures of Hugh Glass at the Headwaters of the Missouri," a short 25 page account originally published in the Louisville Literary News Letter.
In gathering information for his account, Edmund Flagg had traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, then the hub for mountain men and trappers returning to cash in from their adventures in the upper reaches of the Missouri River headwaters. Flagg drew his account from a fellow trapper who had been with Hugh Glass in the Far West during the times in question.
In introducing his account, Flagg writes:
"The narrative of the almost incredible sufferings endured by the daring adventurer, who is the subject of this paper, may be relied upon as strictly true. The facts are furnished us by the rough notes of a very intelligent man, who himself an adventurer in the same expedition; and as he could have no object in an untrue recital, we can have no reason to doubt his assertions."
About the author:
Edmund Flagg (November 24, 1815-1890 ) was an American writer, born in Wiscasset, Maine, on November 24, 1815. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1835, and soon after taught in Louisville, Kentucky, where he contributed to the Louisville Journal , with which his relationship continued for almost thirty years.
He studied law and law at St. Louis, where he was admitted to the bar in 1837. He was editor of the St. Louis Commercial Bulletin in 1838, acted with George D. Prentice as associate editor of the Louisville Literary Newsletter in 1839.
Later, he acted as official reporter for the St. Louis courts, reporting a volume of the debates at the Missouri Constitutional Convention.
He was later placed at the head of the Statistical Office of the Department of State in Washington, and prepared, by order of Congress, a report on the commercial relations of the United States with all foreign nations. This, with reports on the cotton and tobacco trade, and numerous annual declarations of respect for foreign trade and emigration.
From 1861 to 1870 he had been in charge of copyright in the Department of the Interior, and since then he has resided near Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1836 he wrote Sketches of a Traveler for the Louisville Journal . He also authored the book The Far West: or, A Tour Beyond the Mountains (1838).