Books about the Fur Trade

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This winter I'm spending a great deal of time amassing and reading all the books I can find relating to the fur trade. Currently have about 60 of which I've read around 20. It dawned on me that others might be interested in what I think about the books I'm reading, as I am interested in what they think about the books they are reading. I believe most of us come from an age that enjoys reading books.

So I figure I'll start with the current book, Boone A Biography by Robert Morgan. Including the index the book is over 500 pages. But it is a pleasant read because it weaves around Daniel Boone that which is also happening in the country during the same time period, especially as it relates to friends, family, Indians and countries claiming territory in North America. Additionally it discusses some of the day-to-day challenges and life skills of frontiersman, trappers, hunters and their families. It also points out some of the mis-quotes and "stretchers" associated with Daniel Boone.

Some might wonder "Daniel Boone". "The Fur Trade". Yep. He was a trapper all his life, even after his eyesight degraded to where he could no longer see well enough to hunt.

I can highly recommend this book.

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Another outstanding book. Fur, Fortune, and Empire. This book begins in 1609. It does a great job of explaining what drove the fur industry, what countries were the players, how politics played into it, which furs were valuable when and why. It ends with the end of the 1800's. It was a pleasure to read and I learned a lot.

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FishDFly

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Firearms, Traps and Tools Of The Mountain Men by Carl P. Russel is an interesting read, it is well documented and shatters a lot of the current myths.

The Fist In the Wildnerness by David Lavendar deals more with the business end of the trappers and the company's that supplied the trappers and bought their pelts.
 

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I detest TV, so I read. Never had a book irritate me.

Seems most of the books that I have been buying are either on the Fur Trade Era or Indians. Reading books on Indians has been eye opening, they were some mean folks.
 
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The American Fur Trade of the Far West is a good read. I picked up the second volume at a college book sale and I enjoyed it a lot, a large portion of the book is dedicated to recounting the lives of some of the stories traders of the era. John Colter, Hugh Glass, Jim Bridger, etc. It reads more like an academic book from what I remember but I learned quite a bit from it. Need to pick up the first volume at some point.
 
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Firearms, Traps and Tools Of The Mountain Men by Carl P. Russel is an interesting read, it is well documented and shatters a lot of the current myths.

The Fist In the Wildnerness by David Lavendar deals more with the business end of the trappers and the company's that supplied the trappers and bought their pelts.
Agree with Firearms, Traps and Tools Of The Mountain Men. Hadn't heard of "The Fist In the Wildnerness" so just bought that- thanks, and of course that sent me down a rabbit hole for two other books. So I finish one and order three more. I'm gonna need a bigger cabin.
 
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Westering Man The life and times of Joseph Walker by Bill Gilbert .
Guns of the Western Indian war x R Steven Dorsey , a bit technical but very interesting .
I assume you have Zenas Leonard's book as well as Osbourne Russel .
The Fur Trade of the American West 1807-1840 x David J Wishart .
Adventures of the first settlers on the Oregon or Columbia river 1810-1813 X Alexander Ross
Forty Years a Fur Trader on the upper Missouri , X narrative of Charles Larpenteur 1833-1872 ,
Mountain Men and Fur Traders of the Far West x LeRoy Hafen ,
And lastly Emperor of the North x James Raffan - this one is about Sir George Simpson and the Hudson's Bay Company . .
The best 3 are Westering man , Zenas Leonard's book , and Osbourne Russel's book .
 
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Cutfinger, the books by Alexander Ross are great. Haven't read Westering Man or Guns of the Western Indian War- thanks for those. The others I have and are good reads.
 
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Westering Man The life and times of Joseph Walker by Bill Gilbert .
Guns of the Western Indian war x R Steven Dorsey , a bit technical but very interesting .
I assume you have Zenas Leonard's book as well as Osbourne Russel .
The Fur Trade of the American West 1807-1840 x David J Wishart .
Adventures of the first settlers on the Oregon or Columbia river 1810-1813 X Alexander Ross
Forty Years a Fur Trader on the upper Missouri , X narrative of Charles Larpenteur 1833-1872 ,
Mountain Men and Fur Traders of the Far West x LeRoy Hafen ,
And lastly Emperor of the North x James Raffan - this one is about Sir George Simpson and the Hudson's Bay Company . .
The best 3 are Westering man , Zenas Leonard's book , and Osbourne Russel's book .
Emperor Of The North is a great book. I was lucky to hear Mr. Raffan speak at the Canadian Canoe Museum after his book Bark, Skin, and Cedar came out.
 
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Encyclopedia of the Fur Trade, Vol 1 Firearms of the Fur Trade, James A. Hanson ©2012
The Fur Trade - A History of Arms and Trade Goods,
Milton von Damm, ©2013
Firearms of the Fur Trade, James A. Hanson ©2011
Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Role As Trappers, Hunters, & Middle Man in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870, Arthur J. Ray

©1974, reprint '76, '85, '88 paperback
 
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Westering Man The life and times of Joseph Walker by Bill Gilbert .
Guns of the Western Indian war x R Steven Dorsey , a bit technical but very interesting .
I assume you have Zenas Leonard's book as well as Osbourne Russel .
The Fur Trade of the American West 1807-1840 x David J Wishart .
Adventures of the first settlers on the Oregon or Columbia river 1810-1813 X Alexander Ross
Forty Years a Fur Trader on the upper Missouri , X narrative of Charles Larpenteur 1833-1872 ,
Mountain Men and Fur Traders of the Far West x LeRoy Hafen ,
And lastly Emperor of the North x James Raffan - this one is about Sir George Simpson and the Hudson's Bay Company . .
The best 3 are Westering man , Zenas Leonard's book , and Osbourne Russel's book .
I agree with you about Hafen’s volumes. I started reading them 35 yrs ago but kids, work, and life interrupted. Retirement is just around the corner and I’ll release any moths residing within then.
 

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I agree with you about Hafen’s volumes. I started reading them 35 yrs ago but kids, work, and life interrupted. Retirement is just around the corner and I’ll release any moths residing within then.
OMG! You are my new Number 1 enemy! :) I just ordered the full set of books. Waugh! I was a mountain man now I'm a book rat! :) No idea where I'll put these.

On the serious side for all us "old" guys, ya got to keep your mind sharp and this is a fun way to do it. And it beats the hell out of TV- well- except for Yellowstone of course which is the only TV I watch.
 
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Try The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journals from Museum Of The Mountain Man in Pinedale Wyoming. I think you can order them on their website but not sure. I belong to the historical society there and they send me the new one every year but I used to just go to town and stop by and get the newest one They are absolutely fantastic! And a new one each year. Super high quality publication. This is the newest one. It’s fascinating!!
 

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Try The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journals from Museum Of The Mountain Man in Pinedale Wyoming. I think you can order them on their website but not sure. I belong to the historical society there and they send me the new one every year but I used to just go to town and stop by and get the newest one They are absolutely fantastic! And a new one each year. Super high quality publication. This is the newest one. It’s fascinating!!
You can still get them, and I did. Except vol 1 thru 3 are no longer available. Hopefully those will surface someday or maybe get reprinted. They are an excellent resource for sure and where I was first exposed to understanding that no one tale is correct. Just like we see our own lives through the filter of our experiences. Got to read as many different versions of the same person or event to really get the best understanding.
 
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Absolutely. I don’t have the first three. A reprint would be a real money maker for them. I asked them back in October about them when I was spending a rainy afternoon in there and they said they are trying to accomplish that.
 
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OMG! You are my new Number 1 enemy! :) I just ordered the full set of books. Waugh! I was a mountain man now I'm a book rat! :) No idea where I'll put these.

On the serious side for all us "old" guys, ya got to keep your mind sharp and this is a fun way to do it. And it beats the hell out of TV- well- except for Yellowstone of course which is the only TV I watch.
Oh, I think you’ll find space on a shelf somewhere. :)
 
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