Dakota Datebook

Fort Union Sold

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Pierre Chouteau, Jr. arrived at Fort Union in June of 1865 greatly distressed. He knew he was about to lose out on ownership of the fort.

His nemesis: James Boyd Hubbell, a Minnesota licensed fur trader and ardent backer of Abraham Lincoln and US Senator Morton Wilkinson. Success in the Minnesota fur trade as a result of his political ties emboldened Hubbell to challenge Chouteau’s ownership of the fur trade of the upper Missouri.

When Hubbell travelled to Washington D.C. in February of 1865 to lobby for trade contracts on the upper Missouri, Chouteau knew he was in trouble. His Confederate sympathies were well-known. Republican officials granted the contracts to Hubbell and on this date in 1865, news arrived at Fort Union that it had been sold.

Dakota Datebook written by Richard Campbell



Elliott Coues (ed.) – Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri: The Personal Narrative Charles Larpenteur, 1833-1872 (Minnesota, 1962).

Fort Union Fur Trade Symposium Proceedings, September 13-15, 1990 (Friends of Fort Union Trading Post: Williston, ND; 1994)

Harper, Frank B., Fort Union and Its Neighbors on the Upper Missouri: A Chronological Record of Events (Great Northern Railway)

Thompson, Erwin N., Fort Union Trading Post: Fur Trade Empire on the Upper Missouri (Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association: Medora, ND; 1986)


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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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