Papers of the St. Louis Fur Trade brings unique primary documents to scholars interested in the history of the western frontier, and covers topics such as Native Americans, exploration, immigration, commercial development, transportation (especially steamboats), and territorial governments. Part 1: The Chouteau Collection, 1752-1925 This collection contains financial, legal, and personal papers of four generations of Chouteau family members. The Chouteaus traded regularly with Native American tribes and were frequent mediators in Indian-white matters. Respected for their political contacts, social graces, and wealth, the Chouteaus served as governmental advisers, Indian agents, public officials, and community leaders. By 1850, the Chouteaus had ventured beyond the fur trade to investments in real estate, banking, iron manufacturing, railroads, mining, and utilities.