was born circa 1790. He was the son of Baptiste Pourier
and Elizabeth Malboulf
. He married Catherine Hunoult
at Cahokia, Les Illinois
, on June 19, 1811. Joseph's occupation: Trapper at Rocky Mountain Region in 1822. "In 1822, Bat's Father (Joseph), always known as "Joe, was with the General Ashley men, those famous one hundred men who went up the Missouri and spread out to trap in the Rocky Mountains."
Joseph's occupation: Fur Trader at Columbia River Region after 1824. He was on the Columbia River, but whether he was with Jedediah Smith's group, which went from the Snake River to the Flathead Post in December 1824, or at some later date, is not known. Joe said he worked for a man named Black in 1828. Black was on the Columbia River March 12, 1828, after wintering at Fort Vancouver with Jedediah Smith. In July, 1827, all of Smith's men, except Black, were killed by Indians on the Umpquah River in Oregon..2
He married Marie Aubuchon
at St. Charles, St. Charles Co., Missouri, USA
, on February 10, 1834.3
Joseph's occupation: Fur Trapper - Stewert Expedition - "No records have been found of Joe's early travels in the West until the Sir William Drummond Stewart Expedition of 1843.....Joe had a remarkable vocabulary of English words, patched together with remnants of French grammer. Fields reporting the Stewert Expedition of 1843, eavesdropped when Joe was praying somewhere in Kansas and at other places along the way and learned that prayer was as necessary to Joe as his gun.
Joe's sense of humer made an unforgettable inpression on Fields. Once out in the Green River country, Joe mistook some crows on a distant hill for buffalo, at first trying to hide his mistake from his companions. Unable to resist laughter, even at himself, Joe broke down and Fields said they laughed "convulsively." He made them promise not to tell the story in St. Charles.
Fields wrote again about Joe on January 12, 1844, saying that he was one of the smartest hunters he knew. Fields did not know that Joe's hunting days were over.
Bat was eighteen months old when his father left with the Stewert Expedition and only two at the time of his death. Joe came back in autumn, but he did not live long afterward-perhaps long enough to show him the stars, then to hold him close, rocking and singing a French lullaby."
In the original reference of Prairie and mountain sketches we find the following:
"hunter, from St. Charles, His name, correctly Poirier, appears on Chouteau ledgers and contracts as boatman and hunter as early as 1806 and numerous times thereafter. He, arrived in 1834 and had seven children by the time of Stewert's expedition."(Field, Matthew. Prairie and mountain sketches. Norman : Uni. of Okl., pg. li) - From Our First Buffalo Hunt [June 18] "We left "Parks Place," as we called the ground on which we made our first encampment-it belonging to one Parks-on the 22nd of May, and it was not until the mourning of the 18th of June, twenty-seven days travel, that we at length found buffalo. It was Sunday, and at mass that mourning, kneeling in front of the tent of old father De Vos, Joe Pourier audibly mingled in his prayers an earnest longing to see buffalo once more. It was a quaint and curious spectacle to see the old hunter and mountaineer piously passing the bead rosary through his fingers, and with his eyes wandering around the prairie, praying aloud in broken English to see buffalo!
[Forgive us some sin, O, mon Dieu-let us see some fat cow this to-day, we have not no beacon more-and even old bull was better that no meat at all-thant heaven for all everything-Amen] Poor Joe's prayer was granted.](Field, Matthew. Prairie and mountain sketches. Norman : Uni. of Okl., pg. 48-49)
"In this manner, three of us set off one mourning in company with Joe Pourier, our regualr hunter, on an "approaching" expedition. We rode four or five miles without discovering any fresh sign of buffalo, when we observed that Joe bent his eyes steadily for some moments in one direction. We followed his sharpe Indian-like glance, and soon detected two diminutive spots, not larger than mice, that seemed to be leagues away, at the very kissing of sky and land.
"Buffalo, Jo? said we.
"Yes, zey ees," replied Jo, with his gaze still rivited, "and by jeengo, zey is run!"
"Running?" we continued.
Ye-es; runneeng". answered the two-thirds Frenchman, in a very portentous tone.
"Why, what can have started them there, Jo?"
"O, boys, you must keep some look out much," returned the hunter, "indian 'bout!"
For several moments we all strined our eyes at these two objects, evidently in rapid motion, just like very distant buffalo with hunters on their heels. Now they would sink from sight, as if plunging into some hollow sweep of the prairie, again rise into full view again on the high rolls, still running, as the distance represented it, at a violent and headlong speed. Jo halted, and we all reined up with him, of course. We three looked at each other, then stared at Jo, and Jo maintained his grave and piercing look at two buffalo. The atmosphere of the morning was of a smoky resemblance, and the sun was not yet bright enough to warm up the dropping flowers into their glad beauty of day, so that surrounding objects were slow in developing themselves fully to the eye. We couold yet distinguish nothing pursuing the game, but there were the buffalo in full flight, and they would not run for nothing. A buffalo can be seen much farther than a hoesreman, and the reasonable probability was that we should next detect some Indian hunters rising into view. The priority of returning toward camp began to suggest itself to us somewhat earnestly, and we mentioned ot to Jo, who replied by deliberatly "skinning his rifle" (drawing off the cover), examing his ammunition, and dismounting to tighten his girth of his mule. We, likewise, performed these operation, and then Jo sprang into his saddle again, exclaiming,
"Must have meat some zis day, or die, dead as like stone! Boys, come 'long. Sacre jeengo! ze red rascal drive off all cow! Come 'long, boys. By d--n, we ees four! Nuff for whole nacion rascal savage!"
And off we started at Jo's command, resolved to have a share of the game, or lose our hair, when our leader halted again more suddenly than before, and we thought we saw a pale-like moonshine flit for a momement across his brown features. We turned our eu=yes again toward the buffalo, and ghost of Elias! What sight was before us! The living things were rising in the air! Heads, horns, and hump, side ribs sweet bread-all were soaring high "into the air," and the two bulls of our imagination were "like the baseless fabric of a vision," galloping away toward the sun! They were croes! Just near enough to move in our line of sight with the horizon's verge, and flying low along the ground in the murky atmosphere, the birds has thus produced upon us this farcical illusion.
It was funny to see the old hunter, Jo, not knowing for some time whether to laugh or get angry at the convulsive merriment to which we gave way at once. He looked very grave, and we knew that he was cunningly endeavoring to invent some ingenious lie, to excuse his want for foresight, which made us enjoy the joke better than ever, peal after peal bursting from us in rapid succeion.
"Ah, bah!'said Jo, putting on his dignity-which he hidin so droll a way, that we never fail to laugh at it under any circumstances-"stop, shut up your noise, you boys! Don't you see you scare off all some antelope? Zen, we'r you get meat, eh? Keep silence a good deal, or youget no supper, not zis night."
At length, however, Jo's good nature-for he was a kind and gentle-hearted man, in spite of a long career in this half-savage way of life-got the better of his chagrin, and he laughed with us heartedly at our chase if the flying buffalo.
"Well, d--n zem at Kansas Territory, USA
, in 1843.4,3
Joseph died before 1845.