His last trip upriver was in 1849, and he died on 3 July 1850 in St. Louis. He was a portly individual, having been described in 1837 as "adipose & rotonde, larding the lean earth as he walks along." That he garnered respect is attested in an 1826 letter of Bartholomew Berthold, who described him as "the soul of the hunters in the mountains," and again in 1839 by Nicollet, who said he was one of the five men "certainly worth ten," who accompanied him and who was known as "L'Homme des Montagnes--man of the mountains."
See: Jack B. Tykal, Etienne Provost: Man of the Mountains (1989); Dale L. Morgan, The West of William H. Ashley (1964), and ed., with Eleanor Harris, The Rocky Mountain Journals of William Marshall Anderson (1967); David J. Weber, The Taos Trappers: The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540-1846 (1971).
Jack B. Tykal