Colorado State’s American West Program Explores Political and Economic Empires of the Frontier West

The American West Program at Colorado State University continues this summer’s series of speakers with a talk on June 17 on the earliest journeys of the French, Spanish and English into what eventually became the Louisiana Purchase.

James A. Hanson from the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Neb., will discuss the founding of commercial empires in the fur trade and the relationship between the economic and political empires of the era in his talk, called "Up and Across the Wide Missouri, 1700-1810." The Louisiana Purchase, a vast region in North America comprising more than 800,000 square miles, was purchased by the United States from France in 1803 and stands as the largest area of territory ever added to the United States at one time.

Hanson is former executive director of the Nebraska State Historical Society and editor of the Fur Trade Quarterly. He is author of 17 books and hundreds of articles on history and material culture of the Northern Plains, Plains Indians, French traders, Native American peoples and exploration.

All events begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104 in the newly named Albert C. Yates Hall, formerly the Chemistry/Biosciences Building. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $7. Participants are advised to arrive early because seating is limited.

Following is a schedule of events for the American West Program.

  • June 17: "Up and Across the Wide Missouri, 1700-1810" by James A. Hanson from the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Neb.
  • June 24: "A New Peek at Pike" by Jared Orsi, assistant professor from Colorado State University.
  • July 1: "The Search for Lewis and Clark" by Ken Karsmizki, executive director of the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, Ore.

For more details on parking, tickets and the lectures, call Anne Bond, coordinator of the American West Program, at 491-6418.