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M-022: Auguste Chouteau Papers


CREATOR: Auguste Chouteau (1749-1829), one of the founders of St. Louis, Missouri; also a fur trader, territorial judge, and patriarch of the most influential French family in early St. Louis history.

SCOPE: Written in English, Spanish, and French, the documents relate to exclusive trading rights among the Osage, including receipts; relationship between the Spanish and Chouteau; and treaty of peace with Great Britain and suppression of Indian hostilities.


EXTENT: Bound volume containing 41 documents and correspondence, 1787-1819; 1 journal ca. 1810-1820, unsigned but in Chouteau's handwriting on ledger paper, 14pp [in French]; 1 bond signed by Auguste A Chouteau and Auguste Chouteau, June 1821.

PROVENANCE: The journal is a fragment of Chouteau's "Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis." It is the only eyewitness documentation on the activities surrounding the founding of St. Louis. A literal translation from the original manuscript by J. Givin Brown and J. Wilmer Stith was published by the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association in 1857 in the 12th Annual Report and again in 1989.

ACCESS: Due to the extreme fragility and uniqueness of this collection, access to the original is limited. Photocopies are available for viewing. Please contact the staff in advance of your visit to coordinate access to these materials for research purposes.

The journal fragment of this collection has been digitized. A copy is available for download.

M-022 Auguste Chouteau Fragment Images (.pdf)

Copies of the literal translation are also available.

M-022 Auguste Chouteau Fragement Translation (.rtf)
M-022 Auguste Chouteau Fragement Translation (.pdf)

A digital copy is also available online: View in the UMSL Digital Library

Viewable portions of this collection are available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-022 has been photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.

Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.

In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.


Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.



The fragment was translated and newly published in 2010.  That publication is available for sale in the gift shop.

Chouteau Journal