1854 - Fitzpatrick dies of influenza

       One of the very few mountain men to defy the 50-50 odds against surviving his first two years in the wilderness, Fitzpatrick had spent 32 years in a West no one would see again after the end of the fur trading era. 

       After fighting his way out of numerous attacks and ambushes by hostile Indians, after travelling tens of thousands of miles across a wild landscape on foot and horseback, after surviving killing blizzards and desperate hunger, this unassuming Irishman who had played a leading role in setting the stage for the great migration of the 19th century by discovering South Pass and opening the Oregon Trail, would die an ignominious death - of influenza - in a hotel room in Washington D.C., far from the few friends he had left in a world had had all but disappeared in the blink of an eye.

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