AN AMAZING FACT: In 1803, John Colter was hired by Lewis and Clark to join them on their epic expedition because of his amazing ability to hunt wild game. One time, while trapping in an area inhabited by the Blackfoot Indians, Colter was captured. They stripped him and asked if he could run. He told the natives he was slower than a snail. Actually he was one of the fastest runners in the entire Kentucky region. The Blackfoot warriors signaled him to run for his life. He loped out slow for about 200 yards, and then broke into a hard sprint. After about two miles of running, there was only one brave still with him. Colter stopped so fast, the warrior almost tripped over him. He quickly dispatched the warrior and evaded the other Blackfoot.
Somewhere along the way to the trading post, he discovered the Yellowstone region. When he described the geysers and marvels he had seen, the other trappers teased him, calling the region “Colter’s Hell.” Incredibly, he escaped another capture and later returned to Missouri, where he married and settled down to farm. Colter was a neighbor to Daniel Boone. When the United States declared war on Great Britain in 1812, Colter enlisted and fought under Daniel Boone’s son, Nathan.
Sadly, a year later he died from illness while serving his country. His remains were shipped back to Missouri. However, his wife was too poor to provide a proper burial, so she left him lying “in state” in their cabin and moved away to her brother’s home. Amazingly, the body of this forgotten hero continued to lie in the remote cabin for the next 114 years, as the house slowly disintegrated around him.
This champion of the Lewis and Clark expedition and pioneer of Yellowstone was nearly lost to history until 1926, when the ruins of the cabin were discovered with his bones, as well as a leather pouch portraying his name. Afterward, his remains were gathered and buried with honors on a bluff in New Haven that overlooks the Missouri River.
Did you know the Bible talks about a hero that postponed burial for over 200 years after his death? Joseph made the children of Israel promise to carry his bones back to the Promised Land. His faith was rock solid that God would one day lead His people out of Egypt and take them on a cross-country expedition that would lead them home.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. Genesis 50:25