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The Fur Trade in Colorado, c. 1821–50

The nineteenth-century fur trade in Colorado centered on the exchange of animal hides for guns, tools, draught animals, liquor, beads, blankets, food, and other goods. Through Colorado’s network of trading posts, London residents received fur hats and Missouri farmers received mules, while Native Americans received iron cooking equipment, food, and firearms. The 1830s were the most profitable years of the fur trade. By the late 1840s, a combination of changing global fashion tastes and overhunting of beaver and buffalo sank the trade.

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