James Pierson Beckwourth was a pioneer and adventurer who discovered Beckwourth Pass; an easier way across the mountains between Hallelujah Junction and Vinton in Lassen County.
Beckwourth’s exploits were on par with Kit Carson, Daniel Boone and other more famous individuals, but his fame was less noted because of his race. Beckwourth was of African-American descent, and faced prejudice throughout his life.
Although there were many adventurers of many races, Beckwourth was one of the only to write his autobiography; The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. He is known for his ability to stretch the truth in his stories, but even if only part is true, he led an exciting, interesting, memorable and important life.
Fairfield’s Pioneer History of Lassen County, by Asa Merrill Fairfield
History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties, by Farriss and Smith
Learn about Susanville’s history while coloring in images of the past.
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