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Major Andrew Henry (c. 1775 – 1832) was an American fur trader who, with William H. Ashley started the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1822. Born circa 1775 in Fayette County, Pennsylvaniamarker, Henry was tall, slender, with dark hair, blue eyes and a reputation for honesty.

Biography

Henry went to Nashville, Tennesseemarker, in his twenties but moved on to Louisiana in 1800 (before the Louisiana Purchase) to the lead mines near present-day Potosi, Missourimarker, and in 1806 he bought a share of the mine.

In 1809 he joined with Manuel Lisa, Jean Pierre Chouteau and William Clark to found the Missouri Fur Company. He soon led an expedition to the Three Forksmarker in the Montana mountains, where he built "Fort Henry". In 1811, Henry explored the Montana-Idaho wilderness and discovered Henry's Lakemarker. During the same expedition he built a post near present-day Saint Anthony, Idahomarker.

After many difficulties, especially with the Blackfoot Indians, Henry returned to Saint Louis, Missourimarker in January, 1812. When the War of 1812 was declared Henry enrolled in the army, rising to the rank of major.

In 1818 Henry married Mary Flemming, daughter of one of the owners of the lead mine. Mary Flemming was of French birth and considerably younger than Henry; the marriage was a happy one for them both and produced four children. Henry returned to lead mining.

In 1822, he started the Rocky Mountain Fur Company with William H. Ashley. The new company tried to send three keelboats up the Missouri Rivermarker. Henry led an expedition of 150 men, 60 horses and one keelboat to the mouth of the Yellowstone River and built a post that came to be known as Fort Henry. The next boat, under the command of Daniel Moore, sank, along with ten thousand dollars worth of provisions. Ashley equipped a third boat and was able to get through to Henry, and then returned to Saint Louis.

In 1824, after a profitable season and many harrowing adventures, Andrew Henry retired from Lisa's company and returned once more to lead mining. He died, intestate, January 10, 1832.


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