Friday, May 4, 2012

History Book Review: Forging a Fur Empire

Largely the story of fur traders Donald Mackenzie and Alexander Ross, who led the earliest fur trapping expeditions into the Snake River Country of present-day Idaho and Montana on behalf of the North West Company in the 1820s, this history also analyzes the legal, institutional, and commerce-related forces driving the North American fur trade of the early 19th century.

Details about the expeditions was provided primarily by Ross, a conscientious chronicler, who recorded Mackenzie's trailblazing expeditions of 1821-23 as well as the difficult 1824 expedition that he led. "His journals provide the first account there is of daily happenings in the Snake country," historian John Phillip Reid points out. "The most compelling reason Ross and other leaders of the earliest Snake expedition kept journals was to furnish guidance to future trapping parties and inform them of problems, dangers, and places to avoid."

Continued... Out of the Past
Expeditions in the Snake River Country, 1809-1824
by John Phillip Reid
The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2011