Edward Rose, also known by the names Five Scalps, Nez Coupe and “Cut Nose,” was the son of a white trader father and a Cherokee and African American mother. Very little is known about his childhood or where he was born. Rose may have spent some parts of his life working on the Mississippi River between southern Illinois and New Orleans Louisiana
Rose lived for several years among the Crows, and served on Lisa’s expedition. He acquired the Crow’s customs as well as their language. As a result of that early encounter he seemed equally comfortable among Native people as among the Euro-American traders and trappers.
His first known association with the fur trade came in 1807 when Manuel Lisa, head of the Missouri Fur Company, hired him as an interpreter for Lisa’s fur-trading expedition to the Bighorn River in what is now Montana. In 1809 Rose worked for Lisa and his partner, Andrew Henry at their Knife River post in what is now North Dakota The following year Rose traveled with Henry and other trappers as they explored the Madison River in southeastern Montana and the Snake River in Eastern Idaho.
By September 1823, Rose had joined Jedidiah Smith’s expedition journeying from the Black Hills (South Dakota) to the Rocky Mountains (Colorado). In 1825, Rose was Colonel Henry Atkinson’s interpreter during his Yellowstone expedition.
Rose was sometimes called “Five Scalps” because he killed five Blackfoot single-handedly in battle. Although the exact date of Rose’s death is unclear, some say that he died on the Yellowstone River, below the mouth of the Bighorn River along with mountain man Hugh Glass as a result of an Arikara attack in 1832 or 1833.