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Was Hugh Glass of the Film “The Revenant” Based on a Real Person?

The Revenant is an epic survival drama film released in 2015. It was directed by Alejandro G. Iárritu and is based on Michael Punke’s novel of the same name that talks about the frontiersman Hugh Glass and his experience in 1823. The film went on to win several awards, including Best Director. But did you know that Hugh Glass was a real person?

Though it may seem unlikely, this gripping thriller is indeed based on a true story. Having said that, The Revenant is based on a highly recognized figure in American history, Hugh Glass. He is best known for his story on survival and forgiveness. 

Did A Bear Attack Hugh Glass? 

The quick answer to the question is, yes. The mauling happened in the summer of 1823, five months after Hugh Glass joined a South Dakota fur-trapping expedition supported by Major Andrew Henry and William Henry Ashley, despite the lack of eyewitness accounts.

Glass was unexpectedly confronted by a grizzly bear and her two cubs along the Grand River when he was mauled. His scalp was ripped off, his throat was perforated, his leg was broken, and he was covered in gashes. His fellow hunters heard his shouts and hurried to his aid, dropping the bear with more than one bullet. Glass was able to kill the bear with the help of his trapping party, but he was brutally injured as a result. (Source: History)

Did Hugh Glass Get His Revenge? 

When a bear savagely assaulted him, despite the animal being killed, the incident left Glass seriously injured.

The expedition leaders left two men, John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger, to stay with Glass until he died, acknowledging him to be fatally injured. On the other hand, Fitzgerald and Bridger opted to rejoin their group a few days later. 

Glass did nurse himself back to health and crawled his way to Fort Kiowa, some 200 miles away.

He had intended to assassinate Fitzgerald, but when he saw that his intended victim had enlisted in the US military, he changed his mind. For he knew that assassinating Fitzgerald would be a capital offense. He let Fitzgerald leave with the condition that he return his Hawken rifle to him.

On the hand, Glass didn’t kill Bridger too after he found out that he was only 19 and got a full life ahead of him. (Source: History)

How Did Hugh Glass Died? 

Hugh Glass’ following years are unknown, although it is reported that he worked as a hunter for Fort Union at the mouth of the Yellowstone River.

Old Hugh set off with two colleagues to catch beaver below Fort Cass, near the confluence of the Bighorn and Yellowstone rivers, nearly ten years after the bear attack and the survival expedition that would make him famous.

As the men crossed the ice, they were attacked, killed, and scalped by a large war party of Glass’s longtime enemies, the Arikaras also known as Native Indians. (Source: History)

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