Robidoux Chronicles: French-Indian Ethnoculture of the Trans-Mississippi West
Robidoux Chronicles treats with comprehensive documentary detail the factual history of the Robidoux lineage in North America from the first progenitor who arrived in Quebec in about 1665, through the famous six brothers who distinguished themselves as Mountain Men, up until even recent times on reservations in the US. Many members of the Robidoux family were intimately connected to the entire history of the North American fur trade. The six brothers, born in St. Louis before the coming of Lewis and Clark, were important fur-traders during the classical Rendezvous era of the North American fur trade. They then became key players in the organization and articulation of the Overland Trail, only to die soon afterward in relative obscurity upon the plains of Kansas and Nebraska. By the 1950's, except for a handful of obscure and fragmentary publications, the story of the Robidoux had been almost entirely forgotten. Subsequent historians had lost all but a scant and fragmentary knowledge of the true role and exploits of the Robidoux and their French-Indian compatriots upon the frontiers of the old west. Antoine Robidoux was the first to establish permanent trading settlements west of the Rockies in the Inter-Montane corridor, and his brother Michel Robidoux was one of the first expeditions to traverse the length of the Grand Canyon, a half century before Powell made his epic boat-voyage down the Colorado River. The eldest brother Joseph Robidoux became one of the earliest established traders on the upper Missouri and founded St. Joseph, Missouri, which was later to be the primary starting point of the Overland Trail. His younger brother Louis Robidoux became one of the earliest ranch owners in California, becoming Don of the Jurupa, that encompassed the areas known today as Riverside, San Bernardino, San Jacinto and San Timoteo. An entire inter-tribal French-Indian ethnocultural orientation had developed upon the plains, prairies and mountains of the Trans-Mississippi west a good fifty years before the coming of the Iron Horse and the Pony Express, and has been carried on today in proximity to the reservations of Kansas and Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.
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