A band of white men came to the Rocky Mountains in the 1820s, not to settle the land, but to harvest its riches. They were capitalists, adventurers, or simply hired help. Within 20 years of their arrival, most of them had disappeared. The focus of their enterprise was the pelt of the North American beaver. The result was a presence in our imaginations that remains undiminished to this day. We call them Mountain Men.