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Dubuque, Julien (10 January 1762–24 March 1810), miner and trader, was born at St. Pierre les Brecquets, in the district of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, the son of Noel Augustin Dubuque and Marie Maillot, farmers. Little is known of his early life, but he did learn to read and write as a youth. He followed relatives into the western fur trade after the death of his father in the early 1780s, and by 1783 he was trading in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The French Canadians had known of lead deposits for almost 100 years, and it appears that Dubuque became interested in mining almost as soon as he arrived in the Mississippi Valley. Most of the lead came from the region at and around present-day Dubuque, Iowa, which bears Dubuque’s name. On 22 September 1788 he obtained from the Fox tribe a document granting him the right to work at a mine as long as he pleased without recompense. He could not sell the land, but he could work undisturbed by the Fox. Dubuque began seriously extracting lead and clearing a farm and constructing homes for himself and his white laborers....

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Henry, Andrew (1775–10 June 1833), miner, fur trader, and explorer, was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Henry and Margaret Young, farmers. Before 1800 Henry left Pennsylvania for Nashville, Tennessee. He moved in 1800 to the Upper Louisiana village of Ste. Genevieve, a Mississippi river town in present-day Missouri. Henry returned to Nashville in 1802 or 1803 before resettling in Ste. Genevieve, where he formed Andrew Henry & Co. in 1804....