Image (detail) provided courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropological Archives. Image #: NAA INV 06449700
During Fort Union's thirty-nine years in operation, thousands upon thousands of people with a variety of backgrounds and motivations for visiting walked or rode their horses or wagons through the post's towering green gates. Whether coming here for reasons of employment, trade, or travel, these commingling people from numerous nations spoke a "Babylonian confusion of languages," among them, noted the post's Swiss clerk Rudolph Friederich Kurz, "Assiniboin, Crow, Herantsa [Hidatsa], Cree, Mandan, and even Blackfeet," plus "English, French, Spanish, and German."
Managers and Workers
Explorers and Travelers
Did You Know?
During George Catlin's trip up the Missouri River in 1832 he visited Fort Union Trading Post and the Knife River Indian Villages. On this trip he put to pen the idea which became the inspiration for the National Park System.