Mile 1129- Scotts Bluff
Just a day or two walk from the Chimney, Courthouse, and Jail Rocks stands Scotts Bluff. Scotts Bluff is now a National Monument, but it was one of the landmarks that Robert’s party would have used to navigate west. The bluffs are actually named for a member of the same expedition that Robert was a part of. Hiram Scott wintered with the party on the Kansas and Republican rivers and travelled with the group until their arrival at Cache Valley. However, it was when Scott departed from the group that tragedy struck. There are several different accounts of the event. Robert’s narrative states:
“[Hiram Scott]…in the spring of 1827 while descending the Platte in a canoe, was taken sick and left behind by his associates and was devoured by wolves. His bones were found the next year by Sublette and Jackson. Scotts Bluff was named after him.”
The tale changed over time, and some stories tell that he was killed by Blackfeet, some say he was murdered by his associates. Even Robert’s narrative was written many years after the event so it is impossible to determine the truth. However, what is known is that the area where his body was found the next year was indeed named in his honor. Just another way in which Robert Campbell’s first expedition to the West left a lasting mark on the American West to this day.