James, Thomas, 1782–1847, American fur trader and pioneer, b. Maryland. He accompanied the 1809 expedition of the Missouri Fur Company up the Missouri River. He left the expedition at the Mandan villages (in the vicinity of Bismarck, N.Dak.) and returned to St. Louis, where he became a merchant. With Robert McKnight he led an early expedition (1821–23) over the Santa Fe Trail. Later he settled in S Illinois. He is chiefly remembered for his valuable account of his early expedition, Three Years among the Indians and Mexicans (1846, ed. by W. B. Douglas, 1916).
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