Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (32WI17), Material Culture Reports, Part IX: Personal, Domestic, and Architectural Artifacts

Author(s): Steven De Vore; William J. Hunt, Jr.

Year: 1993


Fort Union served as the major trading establishment for the American Fur Company and its St. Louis descendants (Bernard Pratte and Co. and Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Co.) on the Upper Missouri River between 1828 and 1865. In 1865, Charles Chouteau sold Fort Union to Hubble, Hawley and Smith, otherwise known as the North Western Fur Company. During its last years of existence, between 1864 and 1866, the traders shared the post's facilities with the U.S. Army, the latter utilizing Fort Union as a base of operations against the Northern Plains Indians. Fort Union was sold to the Army in 1866, which tore down its structures in 1867 to build Fort Buford two miles away.

In 1965, the site of the old fort was acquired by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and renamed Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. The NPS interpretive plans called for reconstructing the fort in its entirety. In order to obtain structural information concerning the fort, the NPS sponsored four seasons of archaeological investigations at the site between 1968 and 1972. During the course of this effort, thousands of artifacts were recovered. These remained largely undescribed and unanalyzed until 1982 when work was begun which eventually resulted in a series of reports describing the material culture of Fort Union.

Nine volumes have been published, each focusing on a different subject or material object class. Part I is the foundation of the series, providing an overview and critical assessment of the fieldwork accomplished during the four seasons of work at the site. Each of the remaining reports relates to one or more particular material culture classes; i.e., food-related artifacts (Part II); personal and recreational materials (Part III); firearms, trapping, and fishing equipment (Part IV); buttons (Part V); vertebrate faunal remains (Part VI); building and construction materials (Part VII); artifacts associated with transportation, commerce and industry, and unidentified functions (Part VIII - in preparation); and personal, domestic, and architectural artifacts (Part IX). Although only nine parts were originally planned for the series, a decision to produce this tenth volume came about partly because new information became available relating to the Fort Union burials. However, it was primarily driven by the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, which requires federal agencies to compile information on Native American burials and associated objects.

This report is part IX of the series.

Cite this Record

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (32WI17), Material Culture Reports, Part IX: Personal, Domestic, and Architectural Artifacts. Steven De Vore, William J. Hunt, Jr.. Material Culture Reports ,9.: United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Midwest Archeological Center. 1993 ( tDAR id: 244684) ; doi:10.6067/XCV85H7FZV

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.065; min lat: 47.983 ; max long: -104.009; max lat: 48.018 ;

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 5601983

NADB citation id number(s): 000000242380

File Information

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