The completion of Fort Manuel was marked with an evening meal and dancing on November 19, 1812, as chronicled by the Black Hills Pioneer. The event was originally reported by Donald Parker in the South Dakota Historical Collections and Report.
Fort Manuel was named for Manuel Lisa, who was an early fur trader in the area and helped establish trade and commerce patterns in the northern plains. Lisa’s trading system centered around posts which allowed for exchanges with American Indians and was later adopted by the American Fur Company.
Fort Manuel clerk John C. Luttig recorded much of the fort’s history. Luttig’s account noted that American Indians visited the fort frequently, with some even living inside the fort to conduct trade. The final entry from Luttig’s journal was on March 5, 1813.
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