Hunter and Interpreter for Lewis and Clark and Fur Trader, 1807-1810
AUTHOR: Carriker, Robert C. and Skarsten, M. O.
PUBLISHER: University of Oklahoma Press
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Drouillard's service to the Lewis and Clark Expedition was long obscured by the stronger light shown on the leaders and on Sacagawea, the Indian woman who accompanied them. This classic biography, first published in 1964 and out-of-print for over thirty years, rescues this most important member of the Corps of Discovery from that shadow land.
From the various journals of the expedition and from many more obscure documents, letters and legal records, Dr. Skarsten presents not merely an account of the pursuits in which Drouillard engaged, but an idea also of the kind of man he was, as a member of the famous expedition and later as a partner of Manuel Lisa in the fur trade.
The variety of responsibilities assigned to Drouillard form an impressive list -recruiting of personnel, message bearing, retrieving a deserter, pursuing strayed and stolen horses, trading for horses and for canoes, horse gelding, as river-boat helmsman, diplomat to the Indians, boon companion to Lewis -in addition to the hunting and interpreting for which he was specifically hired. Further, Drouillard played a major role in each of the four or five crises of the expedition, and later, as a fur trader, furnished Clark with mapping details of the present Montana-Wyoming area.
As partner to Manuel Lisa in the fur trade, in company with John Colter, Thomas James and others, on the Yellowstone, Big Horn, Shoshone, Rosebud and Tongue rivers, and the Three Forks of the Missouri, Drouillard#65533;s activity during 1807 to 1810 receives detailed attention; together with his attempt to trade with the Blackfeet, and later, his death at their hands in April 1810. Drouillard#65533;s trial for the murder of Bissonette, and other court actions with Drouillard as both defendant and plaintiff, add new and interesting material.
PUBLICATION DATE: 9/8/2003