Bordeaux Trading Post

Bordeaux Trading Post

Smoke Signals

Sep./Oct. '09

Bi-Monthly Magazine

INFORMATION FROM SEVERAL OF THE 

FUR TRADE QUARTERLIES.

Micro-film at the St. Louis and other museums and several other Fur Trade sources, found many references from 1803, 1822, 1825,1826, 1832, 1834, 1835, 1837 and 1839 to a number of items available.

The first is just a small sampling of "Supply Invoices" from 1822, 1825, 1835.

The second item you will find is a sampling of remarks of a few, and their thoughts about some edibles.

The third is another sampling of some information on field seeds, vegetables, herbs and apples - a little history on the more popular ones.

Looking over this information and the amount of trade that was going on out of St. Louis, its a pretty slim inventory for a variety of edibles when you consider what was available.
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1822

Trade List of John McKnight / Partner of General Thomas James
this is the list:
5 lbs Glauber Salts 1 dz peppermint
1 Box wafers 12 lbs sugar
1 (?) Hyson tea 1 (?) Bohea tea
1 (?) China Black tea

Entered Oct 21st & 29th 1822

Purchased of the American Fur Co. St. Louis / Samuel Abbott Agent
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1825

Inventory of Goods available at the 1825 Rendezvous on Henry's Fork of the Green River, from Wm. Ashley's diary

2 bags coffee 1 hams goods
2 Tobacco 2 packs sugar
2.5 kegs tea
Tobacco 150lbs.
3 Bags coffee 200 lbs.
130 lbs Bale & Bag Sugar
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1835

Invoice of mdze shipped on Steam Boat Diana C.A. Halstead Master bound for the Upper Missouri River and Consigned to Messr Laidlaw and Lamont for acct and risk of upper Missouri Outfit 1835 and under mark as in the margin.

U.M.O. Pierre
4 boxes Y.H. tea 5 loaves ( ? ) sugar
2 boxes shaving soap 4 boxes com soap
1 barrel rice 4 bales oakum
2 barrels water crackers 2 barrels each navy pilot bread
1/2 barrels molasses Keg 50 15 gls 1 hlf barrel mackreal
? bottle pepper sauce 2 boxes raisins
2 boxes cod fish 1 Lexington mustard
2 lb refined borax 1/2 dz. lime juice
2 oz nut megs 2 oz cloves
1/2 dz. ground ginger 1 gal blue grass seed (for a Factor)
7 kegs 6 twist to pound tobacco
2 kegs 2 twist to pound tobacco
1 keg 1 twist to pound tobacco 5 kegs 8 twist to pound tobacco
7 boxes brown Havana sugar 5 sacks Grod Al Salt 1 box cavandish tobacco 10 barrel pork
6 bags coffee 1 barrel bacon hams
40 barrels flour

Pasta was a common trade item on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the late 1700ís, but as researchers agree, it was available for ones that could afford the price, not an item a traveler or hunter would likely have. More of an item found in the settlements or at a fort trading post.

Herbs & Spices

Basil, Bay leaves, Cayenne pepper, Pepper corn, Cinnamon sticks, Cloves-whole, Garlic-granules, Ginger root-dried, Mustard seed-whole, Nutmeg-whole, Pepper-crushed red, Rose hips-seedless, these are the more common and the list would change with the area one is living in.

Coffee

French

La Compagnie: Vanilla bean was a favorite of the officers on New France. A blend of coffee and vanilla for a correct drink fitting 1670-1800.

French Officer: choice of government and fur trade officials in New France, a special blend. 1650-1780.

Spanish

Santa Fe Trail: Used through out the S/W of N. America, a blend of coffee and chocolate. 1760-1830.

El Capitan: Spanish Governors to Army Officers of the S/W along with fur trade Factors involved with the Santa Fe trade, favored this coffee. 1600-1850.

English

From the Colonies (manuf in N. Amer.): A collection of beans and nuts blended to the common manís taste. Used through out the colonies. 1610-1810.

Coffee Beans (Green /not roasted ): Coffee beans have been imported from the coffee capitals of the world, for centuries by the English, French, Spanish and American ships, taken to their home ports. Brazil , Columbia , Guatemala , Mexico and Salvador where the most popular ports.

Tea

Brick single-tile; Pressed cured blocks of tea, from Yunnan province, used as a currency for hundreds of years, traded in Europe and N. America in the earliest markets known.

Gun powder; Course granulation tea that resembles cannon powder, a quarter teaspoon in a 1/2 pt of boiling water produces a pleasant cup of tea.

Hyson; Small leaf green tea, name means "bright spring", a good period tea for any camp.

Bohea; Black orange pekoe, many recipes for this tea can be found through out history, was a very popular trade item, found on most supply lists.

China Black; The tea that started the "Tea Trade" in Europe and is still a leader today, in markets around the world.

Sweets

Maple sugar (bag), Maple sugar (cake), brown cane sugar "Havana Brown", Muscavado-cone, Cone sugar-piloncillo, "Hat" * of sugar (paper wrp), Round block sugar, Spiced chocolate, Chocolate (ibarra), Muscavado (in corn husk)

* is though that this is where the term "Iíll eat my hat" originated, wrapped in blue paper that can be used in dying cloth goods.

(piloncillo and ibarra are still molded in the same design form as the originals in a museum in Santa Fe, NM)

Salt

Sea salt (sun dried), Orsa salt (sun dried)

Nuts

English walnuts (meats), Pignolia (pine nuts), Sun flower seed (raw), Spanish peanuts (raw), Pumpkin seeds (raw).

Dried Fruit 

Apples, Peaches, Pears

Dried Meat (jerky)

Buffalo, Elk, Antelope, Bear and any other available that could be jerked.

I provided this list to give you a few ideas of what was available back then. A little hint, check your natural food sources for many of these items seen here. Thanks to the organic food growers of today you can match like items used my our forefathers.

Tom LaVelle

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