The American Fur Trade of the Far West: A History of the Pioneer Trading Posts and Early Fur Companies of the Missouri Valley and the Rocky Mountains and of the Overland Commerce with Santa Fe

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Francis P. Harper, 1901 - Frontier and pioneer life - 1029 pages
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User Review  - joeldinda - LibraryThing

An interesting book in ways I didn't expect. In many ways this is a business history, but it's a business history populated by unusually interesting characters. It's also quite quirky, and quite long. But it rewards working through the quirks. Read full review

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Page 901 - Cheat the Indians.' The respect and friendship which they have for me, the security of my possessions in the heart of their country, respond to this charge, and declare, with voices louder than the tongues of men, that it cannot be true. But Manuel Lisa gets so much rich fur!
Page 900 - I have from one to two hundred men in my employment, large quantities of horses, and horned cattle, of hogs, of domestic fowls; not one is touched by an Indian; for I count as nothing some solitary thefts at the instigation of white men, my enemies; nor as an act of hostility the death of Pedro Antonio, one of my people, shot this spring, as a man is sometimes shot among us, without being stripped or mutilated. And thus the morals of these Indians are altered for the better, and the second question...
Page 911 - No sooner were they completely engaged in thus finishing this most diabolical of actions, than the only survivor of the crew descended into the cabin and set fire to the magazine containing nearly nine thousand pounds of gunpowder, which in an instant blew the vessel and every one on board to atoms. " The nation acknowledge their having lost nearly one hundred warriors, besides a vast number wounded, by the explosion, who were in canoes round the ship.
Page 927 - At those places the furs are received on board and brought down to St. Louis, where they are opened, counted, weighed, repacked, and shipped by steamboats to New Orleans, thence on board of vessels to New York, where the furs are unpacked, made up into bales, and sent to the best markets in Europe, except some of the finest (particularly otter skins) which are sent to China.
Page 915 - Clark's, superintendent of Indian affairs, to present our letters of introduction from the secretary of war, and to receive the same from him to the different Indian agents in the upper country. While in his office and transacting business with him, he informed me that three chiefs from the Flathead nation were in his house and were quite sick; and that one, the fourth, had died a few days ago. They were from the west of the Rocky Mountains. Curiosity prompted me to step into the adjoining room to...
Page 901 - I have seen in their possession the fruit weighing 160 pounds. Also the large bean, the potato, the turnip; and these vegetables now make a comfortable part of their subsistence, and this year I have promised to carry the plough. Besides, my blacksmiths work incessantly for them, charging nothing. I lend them traps, only demanding preference in their trade. My establishments are the refuge of the weak and of the old men no longer able to follow their lodges; and by these means I have acquired the...
Page 972 - Fork of Green River, which promises fairly. In coming out here they are generally well supplied with money, but by the time they get here they are in need of all kinds of supplies, horses, provisions, smith-work, etc. They bring ready cash from the States, and should I receive the...
Page 972 - Green river which promises fairly. They, in coming out, are generally well supplied with money, but by the time they get there are in want of all kinds of supplies. Horses, provisions, smith work, etc., bring ready cash from them, and should I receive the goods hereby ordered will do a considerable business in that way with them.
Page 917 - Poor fellows, they were not all permitted to return home to their people with the intelligence. Two died in St. Louis, and the remaining two, though somewhat indisposed, set out for their native land. Whether they reached home or not is not known. The change of climate and diet operated very severely upon their health. Their diet when at home is chiefly vegetables and fish. If they died on their way home, peace be to their manes! They died inquirers after the truth. I was informed that the Flatheads,...
Page 915 - ... elm, and a few scattering walnut trees. It is remarkable, in all our travels west of the Mississippi river, we never found even one solitary poplar, beech, pine, or sassafras tree, though we were informed that higher up the Missouri river. above Council Bluffs, pine trees abound to a great extent; especially the nearer you approach the Rocky mountains. The immense country embraced between the western line of the state of Missouri, and the territory of Arkansas, and the eastern base of the Rocky...

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