Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
These three individuals worked at trading posts (primarily Forts Union and Clark) along the upper Missouri River during the rise and fall of the 19th Century fur trade and they each kept a journal. Although their journals primarily deal with fur trade and Indians, they consistently present some natural history information relating to this region. Denig provides a detailed summary of plants, animals, and general nature of the country occupied by each of five Indian tribes in this region. Chardon's journal gives some idea of the number and frequency with which bison grazed the prairies. In addition, Chardon noted the frequency of prairie fires. These journalists also provide additional accounts of the activities of visiting naturalists such as Audubon, Father DeSmet, Palliser, and Culbertson.
Abel, A.H. 1932. Chardon's journal at Ft. Clark: 1834-1839. S. Dakota Dept. Hist., Pierre. Coues, E., ed. 1898. Forty years a fur trader on the upper Missouri, the personal narrative of Charles Larpenteur, 1833-1872. Francis P. Harper, New York. Denig, E.T. 1930. Indian tribes of the upper Missouri. ed. by J.N.B. Hewitt. 46th Ann. Rep. Bur. Amer. Ethnol., 1928-1929, pp 375-628. Denig, E.T. 1961. Five Indian tribes of the upper Missouri. ed. J.C. Ewers. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman.