Part 4: Missouri River Fur Trade

Part 4: Vocabulary

American Fur Company:

  • Largest and most successful fur company in the United States
  • Established by John Jacob Astor

Astor, John Jacob:

  • Established the American Fur Company
  • Became the richest person in the United States

Audubon, John James:

  • Spent a few months at Fort Union, studying and drawing birds and mammals
  • Identified 11 new species of birds in the Upper Missouri area
  • Became famous for the book, Birds of America
  • Lake Audubon in McLean County is named after him

Bodmer, Karl:

  • Artist who came to Fort Union and Fort Clark with Prince Maximilian
  • Painted over 400 watercolors of people and scenes of the Upper Missouri

Catlin, George:

  • Artist who became famous for his drawings and paintings of American Indians from several different tribes
  • Visited Fort Clark and Fort Union


  • Rapidly-spreading disease

Fort Clark:

  • Fur trading post located near the confluence of the Missouri and Knife Rivers near present-day Stanton, ND
  • Built by James Kipp in 1831

Fort Lisa:

  • First American fur trading post in North Dakota
  • Built on the Missouri River by Manuel Lisa
  • Located under the waters of present-day Lake Sakakawea

Fort Union:

  • Most important and longest-lasting fur trading post on the Upper Missouri
  • Built by Kenneth McKenzie in 1828
  • Located at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers


  • Protection

Kipp, James:

  • Built “Kipp’s Post,” the second trading post on the Missouri River in 1826
  • Built Fort Clark in 1831

Lisa, Manuel:

  • Built the first trading post on the Missouri River in 1809

Maximilian, Prince:

  • German scientist who studied and wrote reports on the customs of different American Indian tribes
  • Wrote reports about animals, plants, minerals, and other things of nature in the Upper Missouri area
  • Brought artist Karl Bodmer along
  • Visited Fort Clark and Fort Union

McKenzie, Kenneth:

  • Built Fort Union Trading Post in 1828
  • Nicknamed “King of the Upper Missouri”

Upper Missouri:

  • Northern part of the Missouri River


  • First steamboat to travel on the Missouri River in 1832
  • Sailed from St. Louis to Fort Union