Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

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A trading enterprise located at the Three Forks of the Arkansas River, the Barbour and Brand Company was established in 1819 by Capt. Henry Barbour and George W. Brand. Little is known of either. Barbour arrived at the Three Forks from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, via New Orleans, and Brand was a Tennessean and a Cherokee by marriage. They cleared thirty acres of land below the falls of the Verdigris River and constructed ten to twelve buildings. They operated a ferry and obtained trade goods from Fort Smith, where their associate, Capt. J. H. Ballard, was stationed. The Barbour and Brand Company site was situated approximately four miles above the confluence of the Verdigris and Arkansas rivers, on the former's east bank near present Okay in Wagoner County.

Barbour and Brand's clientele included the Osage under Chief Claremore. Vying for that trade were Joseph Bogy of Kaskaskia, Illinois, Mark Bean of Tennessee, and Joseph Revoir (Revard), a partner of Auguste P. Chouteau of St. Louis. Thomas Nuttall, who descended the Arkansas River with Barbour in 1820, described him as civil and generous. Barbour died in 1823, about the time Auguste P. Chouteau acquired the Barbour and Brand Company property. Chouteau sold several of the buildings in 1827 to Col. David Brearley, agent to the McIntosh Creeks. Brearly used the structures as his bureau, which was the first Indian agency established within Oklahoma.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Grant Foreman, Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest (Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1926). Thomas James, Three Years Among the Indians and Mexicans, ed. with an introduction by Milo Milton Quaife (New York: Citadel Press, 1966). Wayne Packard Morris, "The Oklahoma Fur Trade, 1796-1845" (M.A. thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967).

Jon D. May

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