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Presettlement Wildlife and Habitat of Montana:
An Overview


Annotation Of Expeditions And Individuals Recording Natural History Notes


LaRocque Expedition, 1805:

Francois Antoine Larocque, a Canadian fur trader, persuaded Crow Indians trading at the Mandan village to take him, and 2 companions, to the Crow homeland along the Yellowstone River. Between 2 June and 17 October 1805, he traveled cross-country crossing the Little Missouri, Powder, Tongue, and Little Bighorn Rivers to reach the Bighorn River and Mountains. His return trip was down the Yellowstone River, crossing a divide to the Little Missouri River and then on to the Missouri River. The purpose of the trip was to asses the value of the region for fur trade. LaRocque included natural history notes relating to bison and other wildlife, vegetation, and stream conditions in his journals. Although these natural history notes are not detailed, they provide an early glimpse of this area. Figure 2 shows the approximate route taken.


Bibliography:
Brown, M.H.  1969.  The plainsmen of the Yellowstone: A history of the 
     Yellowstone Basin.  Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Burpee, L.J., ed.  1910.  The journal of Larocque from the Assiniboine to 
     the Yellowstone, 1805.  Publications of the Canadian Archives, 
     Ottawa: No. 3, 17.

Hazlitt, R., ed.  1934.  The journal of Francois Antoine Larocque from the 
     Assiniboine River to the Yellowstone River - 1805.  Univ. of Montana
     historical reprint no. 20, Missoula. 26 pp.

Thompson, L.S.  1985.  Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists. 
     1805-1864.  The Montana Magazine, Helena.


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