Before Lewis and Clark relates the extraordinary saga of the Chouteaus, the dynastic family that guarded the gates to the West for three generations. From their St. Louis base, the Chouteaus, patrician and French in their origins, made their fortunes along the two-thousand-mile length of the Missouri River. Led by the brothers Auguste and Pierre, the family not only engaged in land speculation, finance, and the fur trade but also acted as suppliers and advisers to expeditions and enterprises between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains—including the famous expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from 1804 to 1806.
This is the story of the Old World meeting the New, of the eastern United States discovering the West, and of a wealthy, powerful, charming, and manipulative family that dominated business and politics in the Louisiana Purchase territory before and after the Lewis and Clark expedition.
About the Author
Shirley Christian has been a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Associated Press and is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family.
Published by Bison Books, 2009. Paperback, 536 pages.