Provencalle's Account

This is a page from the ledger book of trader Louis Provencalle. Provencalle was an employee of the American Fur Company of New York and its successors, which set up trading stations throughout the region.
Beginning in 1834, Henry Hastings Sibley managed the headquarters post at Mendota. Traders received their goods on credit from the post manager, paying an amount above the basic cost. In the Fall, the traders moved their goods to locations where they outfitted Indian hunters on credit. After the winter trapping season, the Indians brought their furs to the trader to clear their accounts.
The traders returned to headquarters with the furs. There, they received the difference between the value of the pelts and the amount of merchandise they had received on credit--plus the wages of employees who had worked at their posts.