HISTORY: Auguste Chouteau (1749-1829), one of the founders of St. Louis, Missouri, was also a fur trader, territorial judge, and patriarch of the most influential French family in early St. Louis history.
SCOPE: Written in English, Spanish, and French, the documents relate to exclusive trading rights among the Osage, including receipts; relationship between the Spanish and Chouteau; and treaty of peace with Great Britain and suppression of Indian hostilities.
The journal is a fragment of Chouteau's "Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis." It is the only eyewitness documentation on the activities surrounding the founding of St. Louis. A literal translation from the original manuscript by J. Givin Brown and J. Wilmer Stith was published by the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association in 1857 in the 12th Annual Report and again in 1989.
HOLDINGS: Bound volume containing 41 documents and correspondence, 1787-1819; 1 journal ca. 1810-1820, unsigned but in Chouteau's handwriting on ledger paper, 14pp. [in French]
ACCESS: Due to the extreme fragility and uniqueness of this collection, access to the original is limited. Photocopies are available for viewing.
The journal fragment of this collection has been digitized. A copy is available for download.
Copies of the literal translation are also available.
The fragment was translated and newly published in 2010. That publication is available for sale in the gift shop.