“The country abounded with deer, bears, panthers, wolves, wildcats, catamounts, wild turkeys, foxes, rabbits, pheasants, partridges, wild bees, and in all the streams trout without number. The whole face of the country was like a beautiful sheet of wallpaper, variegated with all shades of color.” Forty –four Years of the Life of a Hunter, Meshach Browning
When thinking of great pioneer men, names like Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone easily spring to mind. Equally important in the history of the American hunting and frontier experience is tale told by local legend Meshach Browning in Forty-four Years of the Life of a Hunter. Writing by candlelight with a turkey quill pen, Browning recorded the daily trials and tribulations of his hard-scrabble existence in the wilds of Western Maryland. During his hunting career he claims to have killed between three and four hundred bears, about fifty panthers, over two thousand deer and scores of wolves and wildcats.
His account reflects not only the determination of early settlers as they surmounted the difficulties of frontier life but also his great love for an area he called “the prettiest country in the world.”
Meshach Browning’s Early Life
Browning’s roots in the United States can be traced back to Captain John Browning, who arrived just fourteen years after the founding of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Meshach’s grandfather, William, and father, Joshua, served under George Washington’s command in the 1755 expedition against Fort Duquesne. There they saw the defeat of General Edward Braddock. Meshach Browning was born in Frederick County, MD in 1781.Continue reading Meshach Browning: Local Legend of the Deep Creek Area