Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Missouri Project

The Missouri Project
Promoting Missouri History
Promoting Missouri Artist

The centerpiece of this project is the display of the original sketch “Missouri Travelers” 
by Kyle Carroll.

The blog contains additional information on these artist, including contact information.  Additional artist will be featured in this living blog in the future. HERE.

Panel 1:
In an earlier time, in areas of the East including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, there was a phenomena involving groups of men who would go out on expeditions beginning in late fall, not coming back home to their families until early spring.  On these extended expeditions, they hunted and trapped for both fur and food, and traveled long distances.  They have since been labeled “longhunters”.  This collective group of “rough and brambled” men explored and charted much of the ever expanding American frontier for future settlement.

The era lasted a relatively short period of time. This way of life which began in the mid 1700’s with people like the Harmon brothers, John Findley, Elisha Walden and the Boones, generally coming to an end by 1780 when the eastern frontier states of Virginia and Kentucky became settled.  However, in men like John Coulter, who served as a scout for the Lewis & Clark expedition, that spirit of adventure drove exploration of the uncharted West well into the early 1800s.

Panel 2:
Some of these men, such as Daniel Boone. Elisha Walden, John Hughes, and others, did not accept the routine “genteel” life with its ever increasing taxation and government regulations, as found in established settlements in Kentucky and other Eastern states. They chose to migrate and live out their old age in the more unsettled and unconfined Spanish Missouri Territory which is now the State of Missouri.

Daniel Boone moved from Kentucky and settled in the Spanish Missouri Territory in 1799, west of the Mississippi River, near present day Defiance, Missouri. Elisha Wallen and John Hughes came to Missouri in 1806, and settled near present Ironton, Missouri.  John Coulter, when done exploring, settled near New Haven, Missouri circa 1810.

In 1817, at eighty-four years of age, Boone went on what would become his last extended hunt to the cold, blustery Missouri prairie. It is written that Boone's’ son Nathan, later said: “ Father was exhilarated to be camping out 

Panel 3:
again. He had brought his gun, his kettle, a light axe, provisions and two or three traps. He seemed to feel himself in his ancient element. After the evening meal, he told stories of his olden- time adventures”.

The era of the longhunter was ending...”

The “Missouri Hunters” display is a collection of a hunter’s tools and equipment which were commonplace on the Spanish Missouri frontier circa 1815-1820.  If men such as Boone, Wallen, Hughes, or Coulter were allowed by their Creator to come back to the area where they lived out their lives, before going to the eternal hunting ground beyond, and revisit their “ancient element” by going on one last extended hunt, these are the tool a pair of hunters might want to find waiting for them in their station camp.

This display is also a tribute to the Missouri artists who are keeping this epic tradition and love of adventure alive. Much of that same spirit of these past hunters is present in their art.

Bark-tan bag, horn and knife set by Matthew Fennewald

Longrifle in .40 cal forged iron furniture with walnut stock, built by Larry Callahan and Paul Bigham (Missouri native now living in Illinois Territory)

Larry Callahan

Paul Bigham

Antler handled belt knife by Chris Gau

Forged axe by Doug Warren

Primitive bowl by Jeff Bottiger

Forged belt axe with steel bit by Andy Hawkins

Antler handled belt and neck knives by Glen Mock

Longrifle in .45 cal with forged iron furniture  in maple stock by Chuck Edwards

Brain-tan hunting coat by Mathew Fennewald

Brain-tan Hunting Bag by Eric Van Alstine

Powder Horn with “squirrel hide repair” and scrimshaw by Harris Maupin

Scrimshawed Blowing Horn by Jeff Bottiger

Matthew Fennewald and Alex Foreman Display

Copy by Paul Fennewald which was in a flyers at the display. Photos from the 2016 CLA Show by Jan Riser.


  1. Mr. Carroll, I liked your display photos. Would you tell me what the item is in photo 7. It looks like a tap holder in an old machine shop.

  2. Thanks, Jan, for did a far better job than I in presenting the display. Thanks for your and Art's continuing support of all contemporary longrifle culture artist.....

  3. I tried to post this earlier, and can't see that it made it. What is the device in photo 7 that looks like a tap holder in an old machine shop? The display looks great!

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