Louis Vasquez

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This article is about the trader. For the American football player, see Louis Vasquez (American football).

Pierre Luis Vasquez (October 3, 1798 – September 5, 1868) was a mountain man and trader. He was born and raised at St. Louis, Missouri. Pierre Luis Vasquez was the son of Benito Vasquez and Marie-Julie Papin (daughter of Pierre Papin & Catherine Guichard. Benito was born in Galicia, Spain in 1738 son of Francisco Vasquez and Marie de La Ponte. Many historians write that Pierre Luis was a Mexican-American but he was of French and Spanish (European) descent. In 1823, he became a fur man, receiving his first license to trade with the Pawnee. By the early 1830s he had shifted his operations to the mountains, a popular and active mountain man and trader. Pierre Luis was nicknamed "Old Vaskiss" by other Mountain men. Vasquez became a partner of Andrew Sublette, perhaps in 1834, returned to St. Louis in 1835, and went back to trade on the South Platte that winter and built Fort Vasquez that year after obtaining a trading license in St. Louis, Missouri, from William Clark, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He traveled back and forth between the mountains and St. Louis almost yearly, his reputation growing. Unable to turn a profit, they sold Fort Vasquez to Lock and Randolph in 1840 who subsequently went bankrupt and abandoned the structures in 1842. Due to the bankruptcy, Luis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette could not collect the sum owed to them for the sale. Vasquez then became associated with Jim Bridger. By 1843 they had built Fort Bridger on Blacks Fork of the Green River, which became as much an emigrant station as trading post. At St. Louis in 1846 Vasquez married a widow, Mrs. Narcissa Land Ashcraft and took his new family, her son and daughter, to Fort Bridger in Wyoming. Vasquez opened a store at Salt Lake City in 1855. He and Bridger sold their fort in 1858, but Vasquez already had retired to Missouri. He died at his Westport home, and was buried at St. Mary's Church cemetery.

Benito Vasquez: (1738–1810) He was the son of Francisco Vasquez & Marie de La Ponte, born in Galacia, Spain. Benito married Marie-Julie Papin (daughter of Pierre Papin dit Baronet & Catherine-Marguerite-Madeline Guichard) at St.Louis, Missouri in 1774. Their children were: Felicite (b.1775) (m.Antoine Roy in 1792), Julie (1777–1832) (m.Louis Chatillon-Coignard), Benito, Jr. (1779–1847) (m.Clarissa Lafevre in 1814), Francois-Xavier (abt.1782-1782), Antoine-Francois (1783–1828) (m.Emilie Faustin dit Parent in 1814), Joseph (1786–1848) (m.Marie-Louise Hebert dit Lacompte in 1816), Victorire (1787–1867) (m.Isaac Septlivres in 1814), Marie-Antoinette (1790–1791), Hypolyte (1792–1837) (m.Marie-Therese Lajeunesse in 1817), Celeste (1794–1824) (m.Vincent Bouis), Catherine-Eulalie (1795–1876) (m.John or James Stotts in 1829 and also m.Jacques Martin) & Pierre-Luis (1798–1868) (m.Narcissa Burdette Land about 1846). Benito was in the Infantry Regiment of Leon city, Spain in 1762 and he arrived in St.Louis (Spanish territory) in 1769 with the Spanish army destined to take over the former French possessions. He resigned from the military in 1772 to enter the fur trade (in 1784 he was a captain in the St.Louis Militia) and in September 1773 was given a land grant in St.Louis by Spanish Lt.Governor Piernas. In 1807 he was at the Mandan village on the Missouri with Manuel Lisa, having problems with the Blackfeet.