Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CHOUTEAU, Auguste, pioneer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1739; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 24 February, 1829. He and his younger brother Pierre were the founders of the City of St. Louis, and their lives were closely connected.--His brother, Pierre, born in New Orleans in 1749" died in St. Louis, 9 July, 1849. The brothers joined the expedition of Pierre Ligueste Laclede, who had been commissioned by the director-general of Louisiana to establish the fur trade in the region west of the Mississippi. Auguste, the elder, was given command of the boat by Laclede. They left New Orleans in August, 1763, and three months later reached the settlement of St. Genevieve. In the winter they ascended the River sixty-one miles farther, and selected a spot on the western bank for their principal trading-station, naming it St. Louis. A party under the charge of Auguste Chouteau began operations here, 15 February, 1764. Speaking of the brothers in his "Sketch of the Early History of St. Louis," Nicollet observes: "These two young men, who never afterward quitted the country of their adoption, became in time the heads of numerous families, enjoying the highest respectability, the comforts of an honorably acquired affluence, the fruit of their own industry, and possessed of a name which to this day (1842), after a lapse of seventy years, is still a passport that commands safety and hospitality among all the Indian nations of the United States, north and west."--Pierre Chouteau's son, Pierre, merchant, born in St. Louis, 19 January, 1789; died there, 8 September, 1865, became clerk for his father and uncle when fifteen years of age, and also began business on his own account early in life. Following the Indians from point to point as they receded, he at different times occupied the places where now are St. Joseph, Kansas City, Belleview, Council Bluffs, Fort Pierre, Fort Berthold, Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone, and Fort Benton, at the head of navigation of the Missouri. He also established trading-posts along the Osage river, and on the Mississippi, from Keokuk to St. Paul. About 1806 he visited Dubuque in canoes, to trade with the Sac and Fox Indians, who then inhabited that country. He was associated with several other heavy dealers in furs, among whom was John Jacob Astor. In 1834 he and his associates purchased Mr. Astor's interest in the American fur company, and in 1839 formed the company that, under the firm-name of P. Chouteau, Jr., & county, extended its trade as far south as the Cross Timbers of Texas, as far northwest as the Blackfeet country, and, at one time, as far north as the falls of St. Anthony. The trade with Santa F6 was also in its hands. As a necessity, Mr. Chouteau was drawn into extended operations, not only with eastern cities, but in England and on the continent, and he lived for many years in New York city. He represented his county in the convention that adopted the first constitution of Missouri; with this exception, he invariably refused to take any part in politics.--Auguste, another son, also an Indian trader, acquired great influence among the tribes of the northwest, and was distinguished for probity and integrity. He negotiated numerous Indian treaties. His wife was a daughter of Lieut.-Governor Menard, of Kaskaskia.
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