John C. “Grizzly” Adams, Mountain Man

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Born in Massachusetts on October 12, 1812, Adams first worked as a shoemaker before becoming a hunter in New England’s forests. When gold was discovered in California in 1858, Adams, along with thousands of others, made his way west.

The buckskin clad trapper became a well-known figure when he took his bears to New York City and later became involved in P.T. Barnum’s Circus.

John C. “Grizzly” Adams (1812-1860)

John C. 'Grizzly' Adams

Adams died on October 25, 1860 from meningitis from an open head wound that resulted from an accident while training a monkey on tour with P.T. Barnum.

Barnum paid for his tombstone.