James Pierson Beckwourth, born James Beckwith and generally known as, Jim Beckwourth (April 26, 1798 or 1800 – October 29, 1866 or 1867) was an American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer. James was also famously known as "Bloody Arm" because of his skill as a fighter. He was mixed-race and born into slavery in Virginia. He was freed by his white father (and master), and apprenticed to a blacksmith so that he could learn a trade. As a young man, Beckwourth moved to the American West, first making connections with fur traders in St. Louis, Missouri. As a fur trapper, he lived with the Crow Nation for years. He is credited with the discovery of Beckwourth Pass, through the Sierra Nevada (U.S.) Mountains, between present-day Reno, Nevada, and Portola, California, during the California Gold Rush years. He improved the Beckwourth Trail, which thousands of settlers followed to central California. The trapper narrated his life story to , an itinerant justice of the peace. The book was published in New York City and London in 1856 as The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth: Mountaineer, Scout and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. A translation was published in France in 1860. Early historians of the Old West originally considered the book little more than campfire lore. It has since been reassessed as a valuable source of social history, especially for life among the Crow, although not all its details are reliable or accurate. The civil rights movement of the 1960s celebrated Beckwourth as an early African-American pioneer. He has since been featured as a role model in children's literature and textbooks.