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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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MAXENT, LACLEDE AND COMPANY. Established by Gilbert Antoine de Maxent and Pierre de Laclede Liguest (commonly known as Laclede), the company was given around 1762 by Spain the exclusive right of trade with the tribes of Native Americans living west of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. (1)

The firm began almost immediately to explore the upper Mississippi to expand the FUR TRADE. In the first expedition Laclede took his fifteen-year-old son Auguste CHOUTEAU along and left him with workmen to establish a settlement he named "St. Louis" in honor of the Louis XIV, the King of Spain. (2)

Upon the death of Laclede in 1778, Auguste Chouteau settled the estate and re-established the firm as Chouteau-Laclede. (3)



1. Hoig, Stan. The Chouteaus: First Family of the Fur Trade, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008, p. 3

2. Ibid. 5

3. Ibid. 14