Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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p. v

List of Illustrations

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p. vi

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Explanation of Editorial Method

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pp. vii-x

Jean-Baptiste Truteau’s eighteenth- century Mississippi Valley French differs from modern French in a number of respects. Spelling and punctuation had not yet been standardized and a specialized vocabulary had developed to represent the natural and cultural features of North America. In preparing the transcription and translation, clarity has been the first concern, followed by the attempt to give a sense of Truteau’s style as closely as possible without slavish adherence to his syntax....

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

“The Journal and Description of the Upper Missouri” by Jean- Baptiste Truteau is one of the treasures of the Séminaire de Québec, located in Québec City. In 1973, when Douglas R. Parks was a postdoctoral fellow in the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute, his advisor, John C. Ewers, told him about the Truteau manuscripts and their significance for the historical ethnography of the Northern Plains. John Francis McDermott, the eminent historian of the Mississippi Valley, had in 1960 arranged to have the rights to an English language edition purchased by the American Philosophical...

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Introduction

Douglas R. Parks

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pp. 1-75

In the early summer of 1794 Jean- Baptiste Truteau, a voyageur, embarked from St. Louis with a crew of eight men in a pirogue laden with a two- year supply of trade goods. Truteau’s plan was to ascend the Missouri River to the villages of the Mandan Indians. Truteau was instructed to build a fort there, among a people known little more than by their name to officials and merchants in the administrative centers of Spanish Louisiana. He was instructed to build a fort, establish friendly relations with the Indian tribes, fix prices and regulate trade, and compile information on the native inhabitants as well as on the geography...

Extract from the Journals of the Voyage of Jean-Baptiste Truteau on the Upper Missouri

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Part 1: From St. Louis to the Arikara Villages, June 7, 1794– May 14, 1795.

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pp. 76-167

This first part of my journal will inform you truthfully about all that happened to me after my departure from the Illinois3 until I left the Poncas to go to the nations farther up the river. In it I have recorded my route exactly, the number of noteworthy rivers from the mouth of the Missouri as far up as the Arikara nation, and their distance. Instead of seeing a fortunate and favorable beginning for your enterprise, you will find in it only events and circumstances detrimental to the Company.

The loss of part of your merchandise at the hands of the Poncas and Sioux, the insults and violence that I have endured...

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Part 2, At the Arikara Villages, May 24–July 20, 1795

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pp. 166-199

After the departure of Sieur Jacques Déglise from the village of the Arikaras, which was on the 24th of May, 1795, with whom I sent two men, engagés of the Company, to take down the few peltries that I received in trade from the Cheyennes alone, Sieur Jacques d’Église having before my arrival traded throughout the winter and spring for all the peltries that the Arikaras might have had. I ordered four men to leave, two of whom, named Québec and La Voye Lavoie,95 men capable of constructing pirogues, have promised me to search for one or two large trees suitable for this purpose in return for some...

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Part 3: From the Arikara Villages to St. Louis, July 22, 1795–June 4, 1796

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pp. 198-239

But as I speak and understand the two languages rather well, I countered their evil speeches in the presence of the last- named [the Arikaras], calling them [the Sioux], although quietly and without anger, liars and cheats who, jealous at seeing us bring necessities to the Arikaras, Cheyennes, &c., seek only to set us at odds with them, so that rebuffed by bad treatment we will leave them in their former misery and indigence from which the Sioux knew very well how to profit. The Arikaras, persuaded of the truth of my words and themselves knowing the bad hearts of the Sioux and their lack of sincerity, strongly support me, reject their advice, and scorn...

Abridged Description of the Upper Missouri

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First Notebook

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pp. 240-315

As these writings were copied by inattentive young children, I ask the people who read them to make up for the defects that they find within and to correct them.1

PART 1

Monsieur,
I would not have dared to undertake a work that is beyond my abilities, nor to present it to you, if you had not seemed to desire it of me in the letter that you so kindly sent to me, dated the 3rd of May, 1795, when I was among those distant peoples. I would still hesitate to do so if I were not familiar with your forbearance, and if I had not been persuaded...

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Second Notebook

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pp. 314-339

One should understand that Indians only seek to make treaties after a long war, and when they have more or less returned blow for blow, either through massacres or theft of horses, and above all when they know it is in the interest of their nation to have recourse to this solution, either so they may freely hunt buffalo and other animals on their neighbors’ lands when they are lacking in their own, or because they desire to trade merchandise for horses, tents, robes, or corn, with which some are better supplied than others. But it should be noted that the nations farthest from us are always the first to seek an alliance...

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Third Notebook

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pp. 338-365

The foremost and principal reasons that lead Indians to make war against one another are, as among all peoples of the world, the desire to attain glory, gain renown, earn praise from their nation, and raise themselves by some war deed more or less above their equals. The secondary causes that always begin war among them are thefts of horses, followed by thefts and massacres in retaliation.

The dominant passion of Indians is the implacable hatred that they bear toward their enemies and the desire for revenge, so that there is nothing in...

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Instructions Given to Truteau by the Company

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pp. 366-391

Instructions of the intentions of the Company of the Upper Missouri given to Sieur Truteau, leader of the outfit destined for the Mandan nation, by Clamorgan, director of the said Company, on the conduct that Sieur Truteau should follow from the time of his departure from this place and during all the time that he will have the management of the interests of the said Company among the nations of the upper Missouri, more or less distant, where he is sent; and to serve equally for any other who might succeed to his place in case of unforseen events....

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Account of the Indian Trade

Jacques Clamorgan

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pp. 392-404

To the Great Osages about fourteen to fifteen thousand piastres of merchandise is taken, including the men’s wages and outfitting; it returns about twenty thousand piastres, almost all in deerskins of the small kind.

To the Little Osages about four to five thousand piastres of merchandise is taken, including wages and outfitting; it returns about seven to eight thousand piastres in good deerskins.

To the Kansas nearly the same amounts are taken and returned as among the Little Osages. Good skins....

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Appendix 1: The Language of Truteau

Robert Vézina

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pp. 405-508

The value of Truteau’s journal and description for historical, ethnological, and especially linguistic study has not been fully appreciated. Although Truteau’s style has been criticized as “much inferior to that of Pierre- Antoine Tabeau,” whose narrative was composed a few years later (Brouillette 1979: 143), Truteau’s writings constitute a unique corpus that is important for documenting the speech of the voyageurs of the Missouri River and the history of the varieties of French spoken in North America.

Study of the language used by the French-speaking voyageurs during the eighteenth century, especially after the French...

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Appendix 2: A Glossary of Voyageur French

Robert Vézina

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pp. 509-578

This glossary defines and discusses the history of a number of French words and expressions relating to the fur trade that appear in Truteau’s writings. These lexical items were selected because they might be puzzling to readers unfamiliar with the vocabulary employed by the voyageurs. Some of them were also chosen because of their importance or interest for the history of the French language as spoken in North America.

For each entry, the definitions are given immediately after the grammatical information and only according to the meaning or meanings the lexical item...

Notes

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pp. 579-636

Bibliography

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pp. 637-674

Index

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pp. 675-696

Image Plates

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