These books are
recommended by employees of Fort Union Trading Post National
Great Northwest Fur Trade: A Material Culture, 1763-1850 by Ryan
Gale. (Track of the Wolf,
book is a comprehensive look at the material culture of the fur
trade. This book deals primarily with the Canadian fur trade
but also the American trade around the Great Lakes. Gale uses
high quality images as well as written first-hand accounts. The
pictures of material items of the fur trade are in color and
are interspersed with drawings and paintings of scenes by period
artists. Gale's book is informative, entertaining, and visually
appealing. It would be a good book for both the general reader
and the history enthusiast. Topics discussed include Native Americans,
the trade, transportation, the voyagers, the officers, diet and
health, the forts, winter, and conflict.
the Fur Trade: Cultures of Exchange in an Atlantic World, edited
by Susan Sleeper-Smith (Nebraska
Press, 2009) $40.00
This book is a collection of essays by scholars on a variety
of aspects of the fur trade. The essays show how the role of
Native Americans was far more instrumental in the conduct and
outcome of the fur trade than previously suggested.
Buford: Sentinel at the Confluence, by Carla
Kelly (Fort Union Association, 2009). $10.95.
This is a site handbook, both a chronological and topical overview
history of the 19th century military post at the confluence of
the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. Fort Buford, active from
1866-1895, was built to help police the Sioux and their tribal
allies. Kelly details life at the post, commanding officers,
building construction, everyday life of the enlisted man, army
dependents, as well as the larger story of the military dealing
with Sioux resistance to white encroachment. The book is greatly
enhanced by Fort Buford photographs and a map supplied by the
State Historical Society of North Dakota.
the Upper Missouri River Fur Trade: The Journals of Henry A.
edited by W. Raymond Wood (State Historical Society of North
Dakota, 2008) $21.95
An eyewitness to the rapidly changing
world of the upper Missouri River, young Boller's journals and
letters bring to life the declining days of the fur trade on
the Northern Plains. His contemporary accounts of the Mandans,
Hidatsas, and Arikara in the last years before their removal
to reservation lands highlight a world undergoing profound change.
Missouri: Steamboating on Nature's Highway, 1819-1935, by William E. Lass. (Arthur
H. Clark, 2008) $45.00
The complete and colorful saga
of steamboating on the Missouri River is told from its 1819 inception
to the removal of the last commercial steamer in 1935. William
E. Lass has crafted an engagingly written account that provides
a history of transportation into and through the West - a story
of the fur trade, of Indian-white relations, and of Euro-American
settlement and development.
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