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Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri: The Personal Narrative of Charles Larpenteur, 1833-1872 (Bison Book S) Paperback – April 1, 1989


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Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri: The Personal Narrative of Charles Larpenteur, 1833-1872 (Bison Book S) + Adventures of a Mountain Man: The Narrative of Zenas Leonard + John Colter: His Years in the Rockies
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Product Details

  • Series: Bison Book S
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; First Bison Book Printing edition (April 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803279302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803279308
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul L. Hedren is National Park Service Superintendent at the National Historical Site of the Fort Union Trading Post, which was Larpenteur’s home base, and the author of Fort Laramie in 1876: Chronicle of a Frontier Post at War (Nebraska 1988).

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
This book is insightful as well as entertaining and is an easy read.
John A. Ryan
Excellent source of names and dates without the yarning/hero worship often seen in other biographies.
Roger O. Blevins
As a historical reeanactor this book gives a lot of descriptions of fur trade era life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William J. Higgins,III on September 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Captivating! This is an accurate and vivid account of the day to day and year to year activities associated with the early American fur trade era. Pick up any book on this subject and you will find that this book is used as a reference. Larpenteur spent much of his time at the Fort Union trading post in present day Montana where the Yellowstone River empties into the Missouri. This is his story of how the actual trading was carried on, relationships with the Indians and resulting battles that oftentimes would occur, along with the inner relationships amongst the fur companies and military, the hardships which had to be overcome, etc. He shouldered heavy responsibilities and it is apparent that at times he would get somewhat down on himself for not accomplishing or meeting his goals. If he were alive today, he would see that his journal would erase all those self doubts and misconceptions that he had of himself. A great book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Charles Larpenteur's capabilities as a writer, his presence in the American wilderness at a time when many were not literate, his submersion in the fur trade in positions of responsibility, all make him a unique, worthy read.

The reader is removed from the adventure fantasies and romance, carried into the day-to-day details of the life of a man who became a mountain man early in life and remained one until the trade was no longer a viable institution. A mountain man worrying about profit and loss far more than fights with wild tribesmen, a man who knows white men and studiously avoids being tricked or ruined by their wiles and their competition for trade with the Indians.

Larpenteur has been used as a reference by almost every work written about the fur trade, but his own work needs no references.

Read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Ehrk on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Straight from the mouth of Larpenteur.Very few journals left,and this is good. He tells it like it was,sometimes violent!tough life in those days. highly recommend.......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger O. Blevins on June 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this volume and then "Scottsman in Buckskin" as much of the documentation of the latter came from Larpenteur. Excellent source of names and dates without the yarning/hero worship often seen in other biographies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Diaries or personal narratives, such as this one are not only very rare they are very interesting for the historical reader wanting to read a primary source who was there and experienced it. For another book offering a good view is Chardon's Journal At Fort Clark 1834-1839.

Books such as these written mid or late in the mountain man era offer us a view into both the times and events of the life. Day-to-day existence, some days exciting, most others hum-drum. We can read of the majesty and heroics of the mountain man-fur trade era but as these diaries show much could also be just a day-to-day existence.

All excellent for the interested reader. If you are one of the interested ones you will understand, if you are not then this no doubt will all be lost on you.
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