RENé AUGUSTE CHOUTEAU Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


Biography » bussiness people and enterpreneurs » ren 233; auguste chouteau


Chouteau, family of American fur traders. René Auguste                       
Chouteau,. 1749–1829, b. New Orleans, accompanied (1763) his stepfather,   
Pierre Laclede, on a trading expedition to the Illinois country and           
established (1764) the post that became St. Louis. He continued as chief     
assistant to Laclede until the latter's death in 1778, when he took over     
the management of Laclede's trading interests. Friendly relations with the   
Osage enabled him to extend the business considerably; from 1794 to 1802     
he held a monopoly on the Osage trade. When the United States acquired       
Louisiana, Chouteau became a territorial judge and later served as federal   
commissioner in negotiating treaties with various Native Americans.           
His half-brother, Jean Pierre Chouteau,. 1758–1849, b. New Orleans, also   
devoted himself to the fur trade. He worked for René Auguste for many       
years and extended the trade into present-day Oklahoma, where he             
established (1796) the first permanent white settlement at Salina. After     
becoming (1804) U.S. agent for the Osage, he struck out on his own and       
with others founded (1809) the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company. One of the     
wealthiest men in St. Louis, he spent the last years of his life on a         
large plantation outside the city. Two of his sons, Auguste Pierre and       
Pierre, continued in the fur trade.                                           
Auguste Pierre Chouteau,. 1786–1838, b. St. Louis, who graduated from West 
Point in 1806, resigned (1807) from the army and became (1809) a member of   
the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company, taking part in several expeditions. He   
served as a captain of the territorial militia in the War of 1812. While     
on a trading expedition to the upper Arkansas River in 1817, he was           
captured by the Spanish and imprisoned at Santa Fe for several months.       
After his release he continued to trade with the Osage and made his home     
at Salina, Okla. In 1832 he led a party including Washington Irving from     
St. Louis to his post; the journey is described by Irving in Tour of the     
Prairies (1835).                                                             
Pierre Chouteau,. 1789–1865, b. St. Louis, early entered his father's       
business and accompanied him on several expeditions until 1813, when he       
and a partner formed their own merchandising and Native American trading     
firm. In 1831 he became a member of Bernard Pratte and Company, which was     
the Western agent of the American Fur Company. With the withdrawal of John   
Jacob Astor from the American Fur Company in 1834, Pratte, Chouteau and       
Company bought all the Missouri River interests of the old company.           
Reorganized (1838) as Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Company, its business         
extended from the Mississippi to the Rockies and from Texas to Minnesota     
until its dissolution in 1864. One of the most powerful men in the West,     
Chouteau also invested heavily in railroads, rolling mills, and mining. He   
became one of the leading financiers of his time and lived his later years   
in New York City.