Bill of lading , 5 3/4" x 10 1/2" from T.C. Power, Fort Benton, M.T. delivered to J. H. McKnight at Fort Shaw. Original fold lines, separation along bottom vertical fold, o/w VG condition.
J.H. McKnight and Company was founded by Joseph Hempstead McKnight during the years following 1870. McKnight, came west in the 1860s in the company of Thomas C. Power, a business associate. Before forming his own company, McKnight worked as clerk at sutler stores at Fort Buford, at Camp Cook on the Judith River, and at Fort Benton, where he arrived in August 1866. In 1871, McKnight, assisted by the financial backing of T.C. Power, took charge of the trading post at Fort Shaw, Montana. Fort Shaw, located at Sun River Crossing twenty miles above the mouth of the Sun River, was established in 1867. An infantry post, it served as the regimental headquarters in the military department of the Territory of Montana. It was designed to protect settlers and prospectors, to prevent the invasion of Blackfeet treaty land, and to keep the route between Fort Benton and the Helena gold fields open. As the licensed post trader, J.H. McKnight and Company served the military, plus trappers, area settlers, Indian agents from the Blackfeet Agency, and the Northwest Mounted Police of Canada. In its operation, J.H. McKnight and Company was very closely connected with T.C. Power and Brother at Fort Benton. In 1887, McKnight sold the Fort Shaw traders' post and moved his operation to Great Falls.