The Grandest Fort on the Upper Missouri River

Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union was the most important fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River. Here, the Assiniboine and six other Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged buffalo robes and smaller furs for goods from around the world, including cloth, guns, blankets, and beads. A bastion of peaceful coexistence, the post annually traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in merchandise.


Bourgeois House and Tipi

The North Dakota origins of our nation's parks

It's not where you thought it was. America's Best Idea was proposed on the plains. The year was 1832. Today, national parks exist around the world.

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A trader and chief in front of the southwest bastion.

Peaceful coexistence

Trade relationships between the Northern Plains Tribes and Fort Union's managers, traders, and clerks were typically peaceful and mutually beneficial.

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Trade goods in the Trade House

What was traded? And who did they trade with?

Fort Union traded with numerous Northern Plains Tribes, especially the Assiniboine. They exchanged bison robes and other furs for manufactured goods.

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Metal trade point arrowheads found in archeological excavations.

What did they find in archeological digs?

Archeological digs from 1978-1989 unearthed over 1,000,000 artifacts! The diversity of artifacts makes it one of the largest fur trade collections.

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