Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1995


Published in Great Plains Research 5:1 (February 1995). Copyright © 1995 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The 13 papers in this volume derive from the Fort Union Fur Trade Symposium held in mid-September 1990 at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, the heartland of the 19th-century American fur trade. Conference organizers, intending this meeting to be reminiscent of the well known, periodic North American Fur Trade Conferences, had invited nearly two dozen preeminent scholars to offer their insights into the trade .and traders of the upper Missouri country. To this end the papers appearing in this publication cover such diverse topics as the geographic setting, the construction of Fort Union, the men of the fur trade, the social life of these men, the observations of individuals such as Jean Baptiste Moncravie and Father Peter John DeSmet, S.J., and the operations of the nearby posts of Fort Henry, Fort William, and Fort Clark.

Using primary sources, the authors have highlighted the key players in this historical period. Some of the most important names in United States history pepper the pages of these articles: Lewis and Clark, McKenzie, Astor, Maxmillian, Culbertson, Larpenteur, Kurz, Denig, Audubon, Chardon, Moncravie, DeSmet, Hubbell, Chouteau, Henry, Lisa, Sublette, Campbell, and Kipp.