1830 - Fur trade nearing peak

Fur trading with the Nez Perce

        On April 10, 1830, William Sublette, Jedidiah Smith, and a wagon train of supplies that included a small herd of beef cattle, set out from St. Louis and made their way to Independence Landing on the Missouri River, the new trailhead into the West.  Sublette moved out over the Old Santa Fe Trail for forty-one miles, then turned northwest, crossing the Kansas and Big Blue rivers, and made his way up the Little Blue into southern Nebraska to the Platte.  He followed the Platte to the middle of Wyoming and crossed over to the Sweetwater, thence made his way to the place of the fur Rendezvous on July 16th, 1830.

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         The beaver trade was so lucrative that year that Smith, Jackson and Sublette sold their pelts to a new firm, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company,  that was formed by Jim Bridger, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Milton Sublette, and Jean Batiste Gervais.  click here for more

         After the summer rendezvous, Fitzpatrick, Bridger and Sublette set out for St. Louis with one hundred and ninety packs of pelts.  They followed the tracks laid earlier that summer by Sublette and Smith, and were rewarded $80,000 for their efforts once they reached St. Louis. 

            In bringing wagons into the mountains, none of these men ever dreamed that they were founding one of the greatest, longest, and most significant trails ever known in the great migrations of the human race.