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FUR TRADE

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Map illustrating the major national participants in the North American fur trade.
American Fur Company "friendship" medal given to tribal chiefs to encourage trade.
Photos courtesy: E. B. Lyons Interpretative Center
Artifact dealing with the fur trade industry. Photo courtesy: Swiss Valley Nature Center
FUR TRADE.
An image of a beaver crafted in lead by Native Americans for decorating clothing. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
Trade goods included beads which Native Americans used in designs on their clothing. Photo courtesy: Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Williston, North Dakota
Skins were tanned in the field. Photo courtesy: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver, Washington
Press used to compress skins into bales for transportation. Photo courtesy: Arkansas Post National Memorial
Bales of goods and furs were "sealed" with small disks of soft lead stamped with a mark showing the owner's identity. Photo courtesy: Grand Portage National Monument.
This bundle of furs would have carried a seal for the Hudson Bay Company. Photo courtesy: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver, Washington
Beaver hat and hat box. Photo courtesy: National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
In 1608, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain established a trading post on the site of the present-day city Quebec. The city became a fur-trading center. The French expanded their trading activities along the St. Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes and eventually had over three hundred forts in the upper Midwest with the majority of forts for the fur trade - not for the military. (1) These "forts" were collections of houses and sheds defended by a thick walled blockhouse or a palisade around the main buildings. These sites usually lasted for only several years. The trader moved on. Most of these locations were not mapped and almost none have been found archaeologically. (2)

The French eventually controlled most of the early fur trade in what became Canada. French traders obtained furs from the Huron and, later, from the Ottawa. These tribes were not trappers, but acquired the furs from other natives. The French also developed the fur trade along the Mississippi River. (3)

The dream of the founders of New France in America to establish "a chain of well-garrisoned forts along the St. Lawrence River to the Ohio and thence down to the Gulf of Mexico" was part of their plan "to retain the trade monopoly in the furs and minerals of the West" and "check the encroachments of their aggressive neighbors and enemies," the British and the Spanish. (4) In 1634 Jean Nicolet traveled through the Great Lakes to Green Bay on what is now Lake Michigan. He claimed all the land in this area for France. (5)

The French period of the fur trade witnessed efforts to regulate the traffic. This was done by building posts in the heart of the fur country and by the license system. Despite these efforts, coureurs des bois, wild adventurous fellows, some peasants, others sons of the best families, roamed through the woods collecting pelts in defiance of the king and his laws. (6)

There developed a peculiar type of organization which, although modified, continued through following stages of the traffic. The chief trader, who held a license from the government, was known as the bourgeois. He was "governor of pack and train, master of the canoe-brigade, despot of the trading post." Immediately under him were the commis, clerks in training for the position of bourgeois. These young men lived with the master, had charge of his correspondence, sometimes commanded subsidiary posts, and made expeditions to native villages. Next in order came the voyageurs or engagés, French-Canadian peasants or half-breeds, who preferred the wild life of the forests and waterways to farming. They signed contracts or engagements in which they promised to obey the bourgeois, "to do his will, to seek his profit, avoid his damage, and refrain from trading on their own account." They did the physical work of the trip — propelled the canoes, carried them and their cargoes over the portages, pitched tents, cooked the meals, furnished part of the rations by hunting and fishing, and at the trading post supplied fire wood, and packed the furs. (7)

The engagés or voyageurs were divided into two classes. Those who were employed for the first time were known as mangeurs de lard, "pork eaters," a term of contempt which indicated their lack of experience in the wilderness. After a season or two of experience the voyageurs gained the title of hivernants or winterers — seasoned employees who would endure privation and fatigue. The voyageurs were indispensable to the traffic. In spite of his care-free life the life of the voyageur was not easy. His food consisted of hulled corn with a little tallow, dried peas, and wild game. His wages, too, were low, not more than one hundred dollars per year. While the bourgeois furnished him a yearly outfit of two cotton shirts, a triangular blanket, a pair of heavy cowhide boots, and a stout collar for carrying goods over the portages, he was required to pay for pipes, tobacco, and liquor. When a voyageur became too old to perform the heavy labor, he usually settled near a fort and married a Native Amerian woman. (8)

Hudson Bay token (copper) given in payment for furs and used at trading posts.
IMG 4086.jpg
By the 1630s furs were regularly leaving New France for Europe. The demand for beaver fur was so great that the animals had been hunted nearly to extinction in European countries. (9) North American beaver (castor canadensis) was imported through agents in the English, French and Dutch colonies. Although many of the pelts were shipped to Russia for initial processing, the growth of the beaver market in England and France led to the development of local technologies for transforming the furs to felt. (10) In Wisconsin the Winnebago tribes blocked the fur trade routes. They were attacked and defeated by the Ottawa and Huron. (11)
Tokens used to purchase furs. The Hudson Bay token (left) can be identified by the "HB" and the side view of a beaver. The token used by the North West Company featured the "NW" and a birds-eye view of a beaver.
Tokens varied greatly in quality. (Obverse)
Reverse of the same token.
Two Hudson Bay tokens marked I and II.
Native Americans may have added the holes to carry the tokens they received for furs to the trading post.
A pair of resourceful Frenchmen named Radisson and des Groseilliers discovered a wealth of fur in the interior of the continent – north and west of the Great Lakes – accessible by way of the Hudson Bay. Despite their success, French and American interests would not back them. In May, 1670 Prince Rupert, cousin of King Charles II, acquired the Royal Charter which granted the lands of the Hudson Bay watershed to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay.” (12)

Its first century of operation, the Hudson Bay Company operated from a few forts and posts around the shores of James and Hudson Bays. Natives brought furs annually to these locations to barter for manufactured goods such as knives, kettles, beads, needles, and blankets. By the late 18th century competition forced the company to expand into the interior. A string of posts along the great rivers became such cities as Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Canada. (13)

About 1690 Nicholas PERROT erected two or three forts or trading posts along the Mississippi River above the mouth of the Wisconsin River. Natives exchanged pelts for trinkets or tokens. Later Perrot built a "fort" opposite the LEAD mines - probably "near the site of Dunleith on the Illinois side" of the river - bringing his business within easy reach of the customers. (14)

Other Frenchmen engaged in considerable trade with the Indians. Posts were established at various places in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The French dream of an American empire came to an end, however, with the English victory in the French and Indian War. French land holdings were transferred to Spain in 1762 so that they would not be lost to the English. (15) During the period of Spanish control, a bitter contest was waged with the English over the Indian trade. The Spaniards complained that the Sioux and the Ioways were unfaithful, giving to the English the results of their hunting and trapping, but the presents of the British were not able to win over the Sauk and Fox tribes. (16)

In 1794 the Spanish Governor gave Andrew Todd, "a young and robust Irishman", the right to the exclusive trade of the Upper Mississippi. "Don Andreas", as he came to be called, appears to have been successful in sending huge amounts of goods up from New Orleans and bringing back furs. Two years later James Mackay, an agent of the Spanish Commercial Company of St. Louis, reported that the "traders of the River Monigona (Des Moines) have sent twelve horses laden with goods to trade with the Panis (Pawnees) and the Layos (Loups) on the Chato (Platte) River." The struggle against British control was still in progress. (17)

That same year, 1796, Julien DUBUQUE claimed the lead mines on the western shore of the Mississippi River. Todd, however, kept his monopoly of the Indian trade, insisting that the Spanish government absolutely prohibit Dubuque from trading with the natives. (18) With Todd' death in 1796, the monopoly seems to have ended. The grant made in 1799 to Louis Tesson near the present town of Montrose in Lee County and the one in 1800 to Basil Giard at what is now McGregor in Clayton County contained no such restrictions. These three men, Dubuque, Tesson, and Giard, were probably the first fur traders who actually lived in Iowa; although other and earlier transient traders made frequent trips into this region. (19) One of these was undoubtedly Jean Marie CARDINAL.

Despite his success in MINING, Dubuque tried to expand his business in the fur trade which he conducted with merchants at Michilimackinac and Montreal. The problem was that the Napoleonic wars limited the market for furs in Europe and profits declined. Dubuque fell into financial debt. (20) The general direction of the fur trade was east to west and back again rather than north to south as the Mississippi flows. However, some furs did make their way down the Mississippi to Louisiana. Mostly these were “black market” furs sent down the Mississippi to avoid sharing the profits with the licensed traders in Montreal. (21)

A period of more active interest in the fur trade began about 1800. Beaver fur was so water-resistant that beaver hats had become the rage in Europe and America. (22)

The first trader of the new commercial era was Jean Baptiste Faribault. An agent of the North West Company operating out of Canada, he established a post called "Redwood" located some two hundred miles above the mouth of the Des Moines River, probably somewhere above the present site of Des Moines. Within a year after his arrival, he had collected enough furs to arrange a trip to the mouth of the river where he "delivered them to Mr. (Louis) Crawford, one of the accredited agents of the Company." During the four years Faribault remained in charge of this lonely trading post he saw no white men except his own assistants, except on his annual trip to the mouth of the river. (23)

High prices were often charged by the traders. It has been estimated that the "Ayouwais", a tribe of an estimated eight hundred Indians located about forty leagues up the river "Demoin", annually received merchandise valued at $3,800 for which they gave in return $6,000 worth of "deer skins and the skins of the black bear, beaver, otter, grey fox, raccoon, muskrat, and mink." (24) In 1804, following the purchase of the Iowa country by the United States as part of the LOUISIANA PURCHASE, the government agreed to establish a post to allow the Sauk and Fox to obtain goods at a more reasonable rate and to put a stop to the abuses and practiced upon them by private traders. President Washington had begun this idea among the southern tribes. President Jefferson extended the plan to the Louisiana Territory as part of the government's tariff policy against England and to disrupt the profitable trade enjoyed by British traders in the Upper Mississippi Valley. (25) As a result of this treaty Zebulon Montgomery PIKE set out the following year on his expedition to find sites for forts, determine the source of the Mississippi, make peace between warring tribes and stop unlicensed British trade on land just acquired by the Americans. (26)

It was not until 1808, however, that the United States government began to keep its promise to the Sauk and Fox. This fort, with its factory located on the Mississippi River about twenty miles above the mouth of the Des Moines River, was called Fort Madison. It was the first government post to be erected in Iowa. Trade with the Sauk, Fox, and Ioways flourished in spite of the opposition of British traders and the unfriendly attitude of their chief supporter, Black Hawk. According to an inventory in 1809 the "Le Moine Factory" appeared to be a healthy business showing merchandise, furs, pelts, cash on hand, and debts due having a value of nearly $30,000. (27)

Trade along the Mississippi River and its tributaries - the Des Moines, the Skunk, the Iowa, and the Turkey rivers flourished. The forts, factories, and private establishments including Fort Madison, Dirt Lodge (at the Raccoon Forks of the Des Moines River), Redwood, Tesson's place at the head of the Des Moines Rapids, Flint Hills (Burlington), the Dubuque Mines, and Giard's post opposite Prairie du Chien, all on Iowa soil, and Prairie du Chien near the mouth of the Wisconsin River were the centers of the "Indian trade" in Iowa and the surrounding territory. (28)

It was during this period that exploitation was made of the vast region drained by the Missouri. No sooner had Lewis and Clark returned from their expedition in 1806, than Manuel LISA began the operations that made him the "trade maker" of the newly opened country. In 1807, well supplied with merchandise, he began the first of twelve or thirteen long and dangerous trips up the Missouri. Lisa erected several forts with their accompanying trading posts, one of which was located about eleven miles above the present site of Omaha. There Lisa spent several profitable winters promoting friendly relations with the Indians and acquired a considerable amount of furs from the natives of western Iowa. (29)

With the construction of Fort Madison, the government showed commitment to the policy of establishing posts with the intention of driving out private traders. By 1811 there were ten such "forts" in operation in the upper Mississippi Valley, only one of which was in Iowa. In that same year Nicholas Boilvin recommended that a new fort be situated at Prairie du Chien, for many years the headquarters of the Indian trade of northern Iowa. The proximity of this location to the lead mines also made it an ideal spot, particularly since the tribes of the region had during the past year manufactured four hundred thousand pounds of lead which they exchanged for goods. It appears that they had abandoned hunting except for their own food. The lead had been bought by Faribault, then located at Prairie du Chien as a private trader. Boilvin considered it important to encourage the natives to mine as a regular occupation. Lead was not perishable and was easily transported; unlike pelts which were bulky and large quantities spoiled every year before they reached the market. (30)

During the War of 1812 Manuel Lisa was made sub-agent for all the tribes of the Upper Missouri and his work was effective in defeating British plans in the West. (31)

The war, however, brought the government experiment at Fort Madison to a close. Being poorly situated, the garrison was repeatedly attacked by the hostile natives. This hostility, said to have been caused by the British, resulted in frequent requests by the commandant for relief. Finally, being "reduced to the direct extremity and driven to the verge of starvation" the garrison decided to abandon the post and escape. Digging a trench to the river, the soldiers remove their "provisions and property" and reached "their boats by crawling out on hands and knees . . . leaving the fort wrapped in flames to the enemy's utter surprise." (32)

This trade silver piece is a hair pipe, used to hold a lock of hair. Used by the Hudson’s Bay Company, it is part of the John Haltmeyer collection. Haltmeyer, from the Dubuque area, was one of several early 20th century collectors whose collections are housed at the University of Iowa by the Iowa State Archaeologist.
After the War of 1812 the federal government once more tried to promote friendly relations with the tribes. In order to reserve the trade for Americans, however, Congress "at the instigation of John Jacob Astor" passed a statute prohibiting "foreign merchants or capital" from participating in Indian trade within United States territory. Aimed particularly at the British, the law allowed John Jacob Astor to organize the American Fur Company. (33)

American control of the fur trade was not easy to secure. Money and men "to bear the fatigues, and brave the dangers incident to the wilderness commerce" were not always available. Indian Agents were given "the exclusive right of granting trade licenses to foreigners". Bonds were required to insure compliance with the provisions of the law, particularly with rules about carrying liquor into the Indian territory. (34)

The new policy was abused. An undesirable character unable to obtain the necessary license often hired an American to take out the license. Accompanying the expedition as an "interpreter" or "boatman", this person would, as soon as the Indian agencies were passed, resume control and carry on his business as usual. (35)

Such men were frequently employed by Astor - French Canadians who otherwise could not have engaged in the trade. The Secretary of War directed that every facility provide Astor and his agents according to the laws and the regulations. Instructions, however, were also given to issue licenses to any person Ramsay Crooks, the agent of the American Fur Company, might designate. Headquarters were maintained at Mackinac Island and trading posts were in time established at strategic points from there to the Pacific coast. The trade in the Iowa country was handled chiefly through Prairie du Chien. At first the policy of the American Fur Company was not to trade directly with the Indians but to outfit private traders and buy the furs from them. (36)

In 1816 troops were landed at Rock Island to build Fort Armstrong. Accompanying the soldiers was an Englishman named of George Davenport. (37) At first interested only in furnishing the troops provisions, he decided the following year to enter the Indian trade. Davenport erected a double log-cabin and store-house on Rock Island a short distance from the fort, purchased a small stock of goods, and proceeded to gain the confidence of the hostile Winnebagoes located on the Rock River. Davenport built up a profitable business with the Indians of eastern Iowa until he was murdered by a band of outlaws in 1845. (38)

The system of government factories was successful. Private traders made bitter complaints against it and the natives for whose benefit the government factories was begun were not satisfied with their operation. The British traders continued to take an undue share of the business "by trading rum for furs, by selling better goods on credit by reason of their marriage to Indian wives." The natives lost confidence in the government since the goods sold at its factories were of poor quality. (39)

In 1820 the Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, sent Rev. Jedidiah Morse on a tour of the West to learn the facts. Morse found that private traders had "secured from the Indians in the very shadow of the walls of the government trading-house at Fort Edwards 980 packs of all sorts of furs and peltries valued at $58,800". (40) George Davenport, with headquarters at Rock Island, traded also at Flint Hills and the mouths of the Iowa, Wapsipinicon, and Maquoketa rivers. Dr. Samuel Muir, located on an island opposite the Dubuque mines, and Maurice Blondeau, who maintained a trading house above the mouth of the Des Moines River, each did a flourishing business. The government had in reality been crowded out of the fur trade, so that the Morse report, unfavorable to the continuance of the system, was accepted. (41)

The act abolishing the government factories, passed on June 3, 1822, was in some respects unfortunate in its results. Private traders without supervision and regulation often resorted to improper methods. According to one authority, the "rapacious system of exploitation by means of credit and whiskey" now came to be the usual means of business. (42)

Astor proceeded to grind smaller competitors out of existence. (43) Traders whose business had reached considerable proportions - Maurice Blondeau, George Davenport, Russell Farnham, and others operating in the Iowa country - were finally convinced to join "the first American monopoly". (44) Trade ledgers of Davenport and Farnham are now preserved at Augustana College. (45)

The fur trade on the Upper Mississippi created important business for the steamboat industry. (46) Supplies and equipment for traders and goods for trading with the tribes was the major upstream cargo with pelts being shipped downstream. The removal of the government factory system encouraged business. (47)

Consolidation came to the two fur trading companies that had competed in the area east of the Mississippi River. In 1821 the Hudson Bay Company merged with the North West Company based in Montreal. The new Hudson Bay Company company spanned the continent – all the way to the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and British Columbia) and the North (Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). (48)

Dissatisfaction, in the meantime in the United States, developed due to the practice of sending out "runners to secure credits and follow the hunters to their places of chase". This method was particularly corrupting to the Indians. With an ever-present supply of liquor, the trader could secure pelts when the natives were in no condition to drive an honest bargain. The practice was made illegal by an act of Congress in 1824. The law made it "the duty of Indian agents to designate, from time to time, certain convenient and suitable places for carrying on trade", requiring all vendors of goods to do business at the places indicated and at no others. (49)

These new regulations pleased neither the traders nor the natives. The western movement of population had brought to the frontier many men who had no hesitation selling whiskey to the natives. The problem of restraining the natives living near the settlements from the use of liquor was impossible. The "beverage which seemed to fascinate all Red Men" encouraged them to visit "the various little distilleries and grocery establishments" and exchanged their money, furs, and furs for rum. Frequently the traders who had advanced them goods on credit were left in hard circumstances when the natives under the influence of whiskey took their furs to others. (50)

The next step in the regulation of the fur trade was to absolutely prohibit the introduction of liquor into the Indian country. This was intended to protect the natives against the white trader; if it worked a hardship on the trader he had only himself to blame. (51)

In 1829, President Andrew Jackson ordered Native Americans to relocate onto land west of the Mississippi River. The Sauk and Fox were split into two camps - one accommodating, one defiant. Sauk Chief Black Hawk led nearly 1,400 followers back across the Mississippi to reclaim their homelands in southwestern Illinois in 1832. (52)

JA-John Jacob Astor/American Fur Company TRADE SILVER
Illinois militia plus 12,000 U.S. Army soldiers chased Black Hawk for four months through Illinois and Wisconsin. The war ended tragically on the banks of the Mississippi where 300 Sauk warriors, women, and children were massacred. After Black Hawk's defeat in 1832, most of the Meskwaki living in Iowa withdrew along the Iowa River into Johnson County, where the river crossed the northwest boundary of Keokuk's Reserve. John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company quickly sent fur traders after the Meskwaki and, by 1836, two trading posts stood on the river between Snyder and Ralston creeks. One of the traders, a part-time land speculator named John Gilbert, invited a few settlers to visit his post. Their families soon followed. (53)

The Sauk and Meskwaki were forced to cede more and more of their land to the United States government. By 1845, the tribes were sent to Indian reservations in Kansas. (54) As the westward movement of population advanced, "crowding in closer upon the native inhabitants", the trader's profits decreased. "Only the Indians' removal farther west", whence the fur-bearing animals had already retreated, offered any hope for the "revival of business in furs and peltries." The "scenes of barter and exchange were shifted westward as the vanguard of sturdy Anglo-Saxon conquerors with axe and plow began to reach the west bank of the Mighty River". (55)

Advertisement from January 1, 1863 Dubuque Herald.
By 1836 the beaver had been eliminated as a major source of fur in the Mississippi Valley. Muskrats accounted for 95% of the furs shipped and 75% of the monetary value. (56) By 1854 the great fur companies had moved. This did not mean that the fur trade ceased to be an important part of the American economy. The early trade on the Southern Plains was closely linked to the lower Mississippi River valley. From there, French and later American traders pushed up the Red and Arkansas Rivers to barter for furs, hides, and deerskins with Caddos, Wichitas, and Comanches. (57) The total value of United States fur exports increased steadily between 1830 and 1880. (58)

In 1910 the City of Dubuque had one of the largest fur trades in Iowa. Trappers within a 50-60 mile radius of the city brought over $15,000 work of skins to local dealers including C. J. MULFINGER. These furs included gray fox, red fox, wolf, raccoon, skunk, civet, muskrat, badger and opossum. Wolf skins were in the minority. (59)

NOTE: For a video of the fur trade, see: http://cityofdubuque.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=3083 produced by the City of Dubuque.

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Source:

1. Baker, Jerry R. "A Message from the President," Vol. 9. No. 3, September 2009. Online: http://www.hawkeyestatearchaeologicalsociety.com/newsletter_sept09.html 2. Whittaker, William A. Frontier Forts of Iowa: Indians, Traders and Soldiers, 1682-1882, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2009, p. 3

3. "Fur Trade," Old Montana Prison. Online: http://www.pcmaf.org/wordpress/about/local-information/fur-trade/

4. Robeson, George F. "Fur Trade in Early Iowa," The Palimpsest, Volume VI, January 1925 No. 1, Online: http://iagenweb.org/history/palimpsest/1925-Jan2.htm

5. "Time Line – A Brief History of the Fur Trade," White Oak Society-White Oak Learning Centre & White Oak Fur Post. Online: http://www.whiteoak.org/historical-library/fur-trade/time-line-a-brief-history-of-the-fur-trade/

6. Mahan, Bruce E. Old Fort Crawford and the Frontier, "The Lure of Furs and Lead," Iowa City, Iowa: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1926, p. 180

7. Ibid., p. 181

8. Ibid.

9. "Fur Trading: A Native Iowan Industry," Iowa Pathways, Online: http://www.iptv.org/iowapathways/mypath.cfm?ounid=ob_000020

10. Carlos, Ann M. (University of Colorado) and Lewis, Frank D. (Queen's University), "The Economic History of the Fur Trade: 1670 to 1870," Online: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-economic-history-of-the-fur-trade-1670-to-1870/

11. Ibid.

12. "Our History," Hudson Bay Company. Online:

13. Ibid.

14. Carlos.

15. "Why Did France Take Louisiana Back from the Spanish?" Curiosity.com. Online: http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/why-france-take-louisiana-back

16. Robeson.

17. Ibid

18. Ibid

19. Ibid

20. Lebeau, B. Pierre, "French Entrepreneurship in the Post Colonial Fur Trade" University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, Online: https://www.uwgb.edu/wisfrench/library/articles/lebeau.htm

21. "The Mississippi River – An Important Fur Trade Waterway," White Oak Society: White Oak Learning Centre & White Oak Fur Post, Online: http://www.whiteoak.org/historical-library/fur-trade/mississippi-river/

22. "Old Man River: Life Along the Mississippi River," Online: http://hoover.archives.gov/exhibits/Mississippi/2trade.html

23. Robeson.

24. Ibid.

25. Shambaugh, Benjamin F. The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Iowa City: The State Historical Society of Iowa, "Fur Trade Operations in the Eastern Iowa Country From 1800 to 1833," Vol. 4, October 1914, p. 496

26. "For Better or Worse, America's First Emissary on the Upper Mississippi Set History into Motion." Midwest Weekends. Online: http://www.midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/history_heritage/frontier_history/pike.html

27. Robeson.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

31. "Manuel Lisa," The State Historical Society of Missouri, Online: http://shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/l/lisa/index.html

32. Robeson.

33. Ibid.

34. Ibid.

35. Ibid.

36. Ibid.

37. Ibid.

38. "Biography of Colonel George Davenport," Access Genealogy. Online: https://www.accessgenealogy.com/illinois/biography-of-colonel-george-davenport.htm

39. Robeson

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. "Fur Trade," Encyclopedia of Chicago. Online: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/492.html

44. Robeson.

45. Petersen, William J. Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi, Steamboating in the Upper Mississippi Fur Trade, Des Moines: State Historical Society of Iowa, Online: http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/13/v13i03p221-243.pdf

46. "Indian Trade Ledgers--1819-1979, bulk 1819-1835, Augustana College, Online: http://www.augustana.edu/SpecialCollections/Resources/Finding%20Aids/MSS101.htm

47. Peterson.

48. "Our History"

49. Robeson.

50. Ibid.

51. Ibid.

52. "Old Man River:..."

53. Humanities and Social Sciences Online, "History for Lunch: Meskwaki Fur Trade," Online: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=H-Iowa&month=0907&week=a&msg=JwlI%2BuQdA35enDoDI%2Braew

54. "Old Man River..."

55. Robeson.

56. Gilman, Rhoda. "Last Days of the Mississippi Fur Trade," Minnesota History, Winter 1970, p. 123

57. Wishart, David J. (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, "Fur Trade," Online: http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.ind.022

58. Gilman, p. 124

59. "Dubuque's Annual Fur Business Largest of Any City in State," Telegraph Herald, March 24, 1910, p. 1