The American Fur Trade of the Far West Vol. 1


“That the trappers and their lives continue to fascinate us is in no small part a testimony to the enduring worth of The American Fur Trade of the Far West….After almost a century it is still readable, still challenging, still a spark to the imagination.” James P. Ronda, author of Lewis and Clark among the Indians.



Epic in sweep and reach, strongly written and superbly researched, The American Fur Trade of the Far West is a classic if there ever was one. Its publication in 1902 made clear how much of the fur trade was “indissolubly connected to the history of Northern America.”

Hiram Chittenden brought to this enduring work an appreciation of geography and a feeling for the lives and times of colorful trappers and mountain men like Manuel Lisa, William H. Ashley, the Sublette brothers, Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger, and Kenneth McKenzie. He provided a comprehensive view of the fur trade that still remains sound.

Volume 1 of the Bison Books edition includes the organization and financing of the fur trade and a detailed history of the major American companies operating in the trans-Mississippi West to the year 1843.