James Pierson Beckwourth (born Beckwith, April 26, 1798) was an American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer. Beckwourth was 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 owner) 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. 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, 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.