Working The Trapline — Hershel House, Warrior, The Oregon Frontier by JimC

Hershel House, one of the preeminent builders of American Long Rifles and knives of the Long Hunter era, has died. He was a giant in the traditional field, and by all accounts a fine man. He was 82 years old and had a fine run, but his passing has left a hole in the world for many people.

Mel Hankla wrote a really fine piece on House for Muzzleloader Magazine years ago. Read it here.

Hershel Carmen House was born July 4, 1941 and needs no introduction to these pages. His work has been nationally known for the better part of four decades. Hershel and his younger brothers Frank and John are the progenitors of what is known as the “Woodbury School” in today’s contemporary longrifle society. Named for the small Kentucky town on the banks of the Green River in which they grew up. Products made by this family ingenuously express their personalities, exhibit varied artistic talents, and reveal a genuine way of life that has significantly influenced many aspects and countless members of today’s contemporary longrifle culture.


Monk scouted up a novel to be released later this year titled Dark Frontier.

A thrilling historical western set in 1890s Oregon, from the author of the critically acclaimed Bernicia Chronicles. An English soldier turned policeman escapes to the American West for a new future, but life on the frontier proves far harder than he ever imagined…

A man can flee from everything but his own nature.

1890. Lieutenant Gabriel Stokes of the British Army left behind the horrors of war in Afghanistan for a role in the Metropolitan Police. Though he rose quickly through the ranks, the squalid violence of London’s East End proved just as dark and oppressive as the battlefield.

With his life falling apart, and longing for peace and meaning, Gabriel leaves the grime of London behind and heads for the wilderness and wide open spaces of the American West.

He soon realises that the wilds of Oregon are far from the idyll he has yearned for. The Blue Mountains may be beautiful, but with the frontier a complex patchwork of feuds and felonies, and ranchers as vicious as any back alley cut-throat in London, Gabriel finds himself unable to escape his past and the demons that drive him. Can he find a place for himself on the far edge of the New World?

I just discovered that the pulpy goodness that is Warrior had a third season in 2023. Lady Marilyn and I will need to catch up on that…

Set during the Tong Wars in late 1870s San Francisco, the series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China in search of his sister, only to be sold to one of the most powerful tongs in Chinatown.

Warrior came out of an old pitch by Bruce Lee and one of the men at the helm is Jonathan Tropper, who created Banshee (the Irish pub in Warrior is named The Banshee. Nice meta touch there.) We enjoyed the first two seasons on Cinemax, but the show got derailed by COVID and the demise of Cinemax original programing. HBO Max picked it up and delivered a third season last summer. That may be it, although I hear there’s a possibility of Netflix picking it up…

Warrior is pure pulp, but it is exploring a real, international frontier phenomenon.

I ran across a book in the library that takes on The Chinese Question across multiple 19th century frontiers.

How Chinese migration to the world’s goldfields upended global power and economics and forged modern conceptions of race.

In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “the Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration?

This distinguished history of the Chinese diaspora and global capitalism chronicles how a feverish alchemy of race and money brought Chinese people to the West and reshaped the nineteenth-century world. Drawing on ten years of research across five continents, prize-winning historian Mae Ngai narrates the story of the thousands of Chinese who left their homeland in pursuit of gold, and how they formed communities and organizations to help navigate their perilous new world. Out of their encounters with whites, and the emigrants’ assertion of autonomy and humanity, arose the pernicious western myth of the “coolie” laborer, a racist stereotype used to drive anti-Chinese sentiment.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the United States and the British Empire had answered “the Chinese Question” with laws that excluded Chinese people from immigration and citizenship. Ngai explains how this happened and argues that Chinese exclusion was not extraneous to the emergent global economy but an integral part of it. 

This is outside my reading scope for The Ranger Project, etc., but I will mark it down for future exploration. The Chinese story is an important one, and it ain’t pretty. Oregon was the site of a terrible crime involving the massacre of some 34 Chinese gold miners in 1887.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *