Fort Chartres, Illinois Country: December 31, 1766.
Countersigned by Jonathan Jennings on behalf of Baynton, Wharton & Morgan, endorsed on verso by Blouin and another French trader. 4-1/2 x 9 inches. The Fur Trade with Native Americans on the Western Frontier. Item #324033
Following the French and Indian War, the Treaty of Paris (1763) extended British control of the frontier as far west as the Mississippi River and transferred the French forts along the river to the British. This included Fort de Chartres (approx. 40 miles south of present day St. Louis), the seat of the French civil and military government in Illinois Country, becoming the farthest western outpost in what would become the United States and an important post for the North American fur trade.
Intent on capitalizing on the terms of the new treaty, American traders, including the Philadelphia-based firm Baynton, Wharton & Morgan, undertook the hazardous trip the far western frontier in order to establish relationships with the region's native tribes. Around the same time of this document, the firm petitioned the Crown to become the principal suppliers for provisions and rations for Fort de Chartres. Interestingly, French trader Daniel Blouin, the recipient of this document, would go on to take over this incredibly lucrative contract from December 1767 to June 1768.
This document is signed by Matthew Clarkson (1733-1800), future mayor of Philadelphia (1792-96), while serving as an agent on behalf of Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan at Fort de Chartres. Clarkson arrived at Fort de Chartres in December 1766 when Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan were just beginning to establish their regional empire. His diary of his journey would be published by Schoolcraft in his History of the Indian Tribes of North America (vol. 4, pp. 265-278), and includes a reference to bills of exchange like the present.
A rare 18th century document related to the fur trade along the western frontier.
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