Tag Archives: Karl Bodmer

This Week in History: October 11

It’s all busi­ness this week at Camp­bell House.  This is a let­ter from Robert to his asso­ciate, Major John Dougher­ty where he talks about a suc­cess­ful sale of furs.  “Mrs. Camp­bel­l’s sit­u­a­tion” that he refers to is the impend­ing birth of son Hazlett on Novem­ber 23rd.  (This was the first Hazlett.….he would die of measles on his third birth­day.)  Major Dougher­ty was the sut­ler at Bel­lvue along the Mis­souri Riv­er.  A “sut­ler” is a mer­chant who sells goods to moun­tain men or sol­diers.  Bel­lvue was depict­ed by Swiss artist Karl Bod­mer in the print below.


Saint Louis Oct 18th 1853

Bel­lvue, Mr. Dougher­ty’s Agency 

Major John Dougherty

Dear Sir
Your favor of 8th inst was duly received and the Buf­fa­lo Robes and Beaver came to hand and have been sold I think remark­ably well. I sold the Robes at 350/100 each and the Beaver at 250/100 and the large Wolf at 1.25 each the small Wolf at 75.
The Robes will not hold out in count — this is in part to be account­ed for from 30 half Robes hav­ing evi­dent­ly been count­ed as whole Robes — there were also 6 Red Calf.  I have had a count which makes the Robes 2162 and 6 Red Calf but when the Robes are all baled up we can then count them over again and cor­rect the present count. I con­sid­er the sale the very best that I have made this sea­son con­sid­er­ing the late­ness of the peri­od that they came to mar­ket — Chouteau & Co would only give 331/100 for the Robes.

I have tak­en the Fort Kearny Robes myself at $360/100 each as I con­sid­ered them worth more than the gen­er­al aver­age. This you will write me your opin­ion about as they belong to us joint­ly.  I do not think it pos­si­ble for me to vis­it you this sea­son as Mrs Camp­bells sit­u­a­tion will keep me at home next month. It is under­stood that Maj Ruff will be placed at Jeff Bar­racks and this will doubtly bring you here — our busi­ness should be settled.
I agree with you that Mr Vaugh­an had no right to trade in cat­tle on his own account whilst hired to us — we are enti­tled to the benefit

Robert Campbell