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M-391: Ramsay Crooks Fur Trade Ledger

Repository St. Louis Mercantile Library Special Collections

Creator Crooks, Ramsay, 1787-1859

Title Ramsay Crooks Fur Trade Ledger

Date 1809

Extent One ledger, bound and in slipcase

General Physical Description note One 32-page notebook of plain paper, bound in crimson calf and encased in a blue slipcase.

Dimensions note 5.75 x 9 inches

Location note Vault - vertical files

Language English and French

Abstract Early fur trade ledger of Ramsay Crooks, from 1809, titled "Otto & Missouri Credits for Fall 1809."

Preferred Citation note The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis."

Biographical note

Ramsay Crooks had immigrated into Canada from Scotland in 1803 but soon moved to Northern Michigan as clerk to a fur trader named Robert Dickson. In 1810 he was persuaded by Wilson Price Hunt, who was John Jacob Astor's agent in St. Louis, to join Astor's projected overland expedition to the mouth of the Columbia River. Prior to that, perhaps during the short period when he was in an unsuccessful partnership with Robert McClellan, he was trading on the Upper Missouri.

Scope and Contents note

Each entry in this notebook is headed by the native name of the individual tribesman involved, and lists each item traded, against which are shown symbols (mostly "0" or "1") each of which must indicate a specific number of pelts received in exchange. Most of the items traded are guns, ammunition, knives, beaver traps, tobacco, tomahawks and "half axes." Some rough penciled notes in a different hand towards the end of the little book, which are not attached to the name of any particular hunter, make a short list in French of various animals. Most likely a French-Canadian who worked with Crooks.

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

A digital version of this item can be accessed here.

Conditions Governing Use note

Access Restrictions: Due to the rare and fragile nature of this resource, use of the collection’s materials must be reviewed by library staff. Please contact the Library at 314-516-7247 for more information.

Copyright Information: The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Fee Services: Fees associated with staff research time, cost recovery in reproductions processing time and materials, and licensing may apply.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Fur trade
  • Oto Indians