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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Williston in Williams County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Outpost on the Missouri

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

 

—National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
1. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
Inscription. Early explorers reported that America’s western mountains were rich in furs. As a part of a plan to extend trading into the Upper Missouri country, John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company built Fort Union here, near the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, in 1829. This post soon became the headquarters for trading beaver furs and buffalo robes with the Assiniboin Indians to the north, the Crow Indians on the upper Yellowstone, and the Blackfeet who lived farther up the Missouri. In its heyday, the Fort was a busy place and employed up to 100 people. A bourgeois (or manager) directed Fort Union’s operations and the activities of its traders and craftsmen.

During its thirty-eight years of operation, travelers and famed men passed through Fort Union’s gates. Adventurers, artists, scientists and priests---even princes—made their way up the Missouri to this site. As you enter the Fort, imagine you are a river traveler of the 1830’s, stepping off your steamboat and into one of the busiest and grandest of a network of fur trading outposts.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 47° 59.958′ N, 104° 2.436′ W. Marker is in Williston, North Dakota, in Williams County. Marker is on State Highway

Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
2. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
1804. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15550 N. Dakota 1804, Williston ND 58801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Buford Historic Site (approx. 2 miles away).
 
Regarding Outpost on the Missouri. Fort Union Trading Post was established in 1828 by the American Fur Company. It was not a government or military post, but a business, established for the specific purpose of doing business with the northern plains tribes. This trade business continued until 1867 making it the longest lasting American fur trading post.
The fort had visits from various people who became well known during the fur trade period. Names like, George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, John James Audubon and Prince Maximilian. Tribal leaders came from many of the nations that traded here at Fort Union as well. A variety of jobs by skilled workers made up many of the duties done at here.
The people, places and stories are a large part of the make up when looking at Fort Union during its historic period. With the help of local citizens and agencies, the site was acquired by the National Park Service in 1966. After three archaeological projects, reconstruction of the bourgeois house was completed in 1987, followed by the walls and
Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
3. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
bastions in 1989 and finishing the trade house in 1991.
(Information above is from the National Park Service website)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative Americans
 
Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
4. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
5. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
Outpost on the Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 9, 1997
6. Outpost on the Missouri Marker
National Park Service Passport Cancellation Stamp- Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site preserves the story of the American Fur Company at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. From 1829 to 1867, company men traded manufactured goods for beaver plews and buffalo robes in an era of general tranquility between Indians and whites.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 407 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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