The Will of Hugh Glass
Mountain man’s astounding 1823 saga offers an important lesson for modern Americans.
by Michael Medeiros
HUGH GLASS was born of Irish parents in Pennsylvania, and went on to explore the far West in the early 1800s. One day on one of his travels, a mother grizzly bear, mistakenly thinking him a threat to her cubs, and well-concealed by deep grass and brush, attacked and tore a chunk of flesh from Hugh Glass’ neck and lacerated one of his legs and hands after Hugh got a bit too close.
The men who came to Hugh’s aid were certain that he was within minutes of death: he was horribly mangled, had suffered an incredible loss of blood, and his neck was blowing red bubbles with every breath. As the time passed, and Glass didn’t pass on, Major Andrew Henry, having serious obligations elsewhere, offered a reward to any two men who would stay with Hugh until he finally died. A 19-year-old named Jim Bridger and an older man named John Fitzgerald ended up being these two men.
Initially expecting only to have to wait a few hours at the most before leaving to rejoin their company, they were forced to hang around the seemingly broken Glass (no pun intended) for days — increasing the odds of being discovered by savage Indians who wouldn’t hesitate to take their scalps along with Hugh’s. Finally, Bridger and Fitzgerald decided that Hugh had absolutely no chance of survival and that the two of them shouldn’t risk sacrificing their own lives for a soon-to-be corpse. Since nobody on the frontier would ever leave useful items for the Indians to scavenge, they took Hugh’s goods — including his knife and beloved rifle.
Hugh tried his best, despite his condition, to get them to leave his belongings, but this effort failed — and Bridger and Fitzgerald were soon gone. The taking of his goods accomplished two things: It gave Hugh a goal, and a “vitalizing rage” to help him accomplish this goal. This goal was not to save his own life, but to regain his trusty rifle — and kill its abductors in the process. (The rifle was, to the Western frontiersman, a companion more constant and dear than dogs or even horses.) Hugh, “warmed by hate,” began crawling to the Missouri River.
Wolves stole his buffalo robe, exposing Hugh to the chills of night. He subsisted almost entirely on roots and berries, but once ate the raw remains of a bison after the wolves that killed it were done feasting. He dealt with hostile Indians. He walked 200-300 miles in the dead of winter — just to get to one particular location, not his total trip! Upon getting to Fort Henry (his intended destination), he found it to be deserted, and so made his way south where he finally encountered the young Bridger. Mercy was the order of the day, and instead of death, Bridger received a lecture, with Hugh choosing to save his rage for Fitzgerald. Hugh met up with a trio of dispatchers sent by Major Henry, and accompanied them on their trip. The foursome met up with yet more hostile Indians, and Hugh was the only one to escape with his life.
Eventually, Hugh Glass found out that Fitzgerald was located at Fort Atkinson. Upon arriving at the fort, Hugh asked a Captain Bennet Riley if he (Hugh) could execute Fitzgerald. The Captain, naturally, didn’t allow this, but did obtain and return Hugh’s rifle. The desire for Fitzgerald’s head on a plate quickly disappeared after Hugh’s adored rifle was back in his hands.
Hugh Glass spent nine months, traveling many hundreds of miles, facing down death via Indians and bears, in order to reclaim a rifle. A rifle!
Are you, dear reader, afraid – for whatever reason – to speak out against anti-White policies and people? Are you afraid that “Big Brother” might find out that you’ve thought Politically Incorrect thoughts at one time or another in your life and you might lose some precious income stream? What does that make you? Are you afraid there’s nothing lil’ ol’ you can do to make a Whiter, brighter future? What does that say about your estimation of yourself? Are you afraid that the National Alliance’s task is a daunting one? To achieve great things one must sometimes take great risks — or have you forgotten that? Are you afraid that our enemies will call you names? What have we come to if such a fear deserves a moment’s consideration, when all future generations of our people are at stake?
Think of the fears listed above and any other fears that might prevent you from doing right — being called names, losing your job, etc. Then think of what it must have been like to nearly bleed to death from a bear attack, avoid Indians intent on getting a White man’s scalp, travel on foot over hundreds of miles in the dead of winter — all for a rifle. Then think about what you need to do to overcome your fears and do right as well as acquire a will as strong as Hugh Glass’s — and do it!
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