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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Bernard Pratte.

THE Pratte family is one of the most ancient families in Missouri, and came to the state when it had nothing but pioneer attractions. Bernard Pratte was born in the city of St. Louis, December 17, 1803. His father, General Bernard Pratte, and his father's mother, were both born in St. Genevieve, and his grandmother and her mother were born in St. Louis. His father was a respectable merchant, and completed his education in Canada, as St. Louis at that time possessed none of the advantages of education. He filled positions of trust and responsibility, and was a leading man in the growing city. From his education, his integrity and the confidence of the people, General Pratte was an acquisition to Missouri, and was appointed one of its territorial judges, a post which he held with entire satisfaction, and filled with consummate ability. He was patriotic in his feelings, and when war was declared in 1812, he commanded an expedition to Fort Madison, and served his country until a permanent peace was established. His great weight of character and unimpeachable integrity had a wide reputation, and during the administration of Mr. Monroe, unsolicited on his part, he was appointed receiver of public moneys at St. Louis.

Young Bernard Pratte was raised under the most salutary influences. He had the presence and example of his father continually before him, to form his character, and incite him to honorable emulation. His father being highly educated, greatly appreciated mental cultivation, and he was sent early to the schools of the city, where he was kept until he was fifteen years of age, and then sent to Georgetown, Kentucky, where he remained until he graduated at that institution.

In 1821 Bernard Pratte returned to St. Louis, and it then being required that he should enter upon his business career, he commenced under the tutorship of his father, and spent many years of his life in trading between St. Louis and New Orleans, doing a very extensive and a very lucrative business. He was taken in partnership by his father, and the firm of Bernard Pratte & Co. had an enviable reputation in the commercial world. They were extensive dealers in fur, peltry, and Indian goods; and successful in all their operations.

Bernard Pratte was always of a venturesome and ambitious nature, and anxious to occupy a prominent position in his business. It was as late as 1832 when no steamboat had navigated the Missouri as far as the mouth of the Yellow Stone. The whole of the Missouri River had been explored, it is true, as far as its source, and adventurous spirits had many years traded with barbarous tribes of Indians living contiguous to the Rocky Mountains; but the river was so filled with snags and stumps, that it was deemed too perilous to risk a steamboat in a current so filled with dangerous

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obstacles. Bernard Pratte, in connection with Pierre Chouteau, in 1832 resolved to attempt the passage of the Missouri as far as the Yellow Stone, and, contrary to the predictions of the oldest navigators, he successfully accomplished his undertaking. This feat established an era in the navigation of the Missouri River, and since that time, the whistle of the steam-engine has been heard in the wild regions occupied by the Crows and the Blackfeet.

In 1833, the copartnership existing between Bernard Pratte and his father was dissolved, and a new firm established, entitled Mulligan & Pratte. The new firm came into being under favorable auspices, and maintained a high reputation until it was dissolved by the withdrawal of Mr. Mulligan in 1840. Mr. Pratte still continued in business, until a new partner was taken in, and a firm was established, known as Pratte & Cabane, which had an honorable and successful existence for six years, when, Mr. Pratte having amassed independence, retired from the business arena, on which he had for many years been a prominent actor. Two years before he gave up his commercial pursuits, he was elected mayor of the city, which honorable office he held for two administrations, during the years of 1844 — '5 and '6. He was a faithful public servant, and carried with him in office those working qualities which formed the basis of his success in business life. He was diligent in advancing the interest of the city, and during his term of office, the city was lighted with gas, and the levee, on which the commercial business of the city was conducted, was properly paved.

Bernard Pratte has filled many positions of trust; for he has always been found worthy, and his fellow-citizens on many occasions honored him with their confidence. In 1838 he was solicited to become a candidate for the General Assembly, and was elected to that body. He has been president and director of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and in all business of finance his opinions received attention and respect.

Mr. Pratte entered into matrimonial relations in 1824 with Miss Louisa Chenie, daughter of Mr. Anthony Chenie, of St. Louis, and has a family of six children. He has been successful in all of his business pursuits, from a rare combination of industry and judgment, and has gained the confidence and respect of the community, by at all times exhibiting a rectitude of character, which never wavered from the proper direction. His ago sits lightly on him, and his health gives promise of many years of usefulness in any position in which circumstances might place him.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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