Fort William, North Dakota

Robert Campbell and William Sublette

Robert Campbell and William Sublette

Fort William, North Dakota, established in August 1833 by William Sublette and Robert Campbell, was a trading post was located at the mouth of the Yellowstone River about 2.4 miles east of Fort Union, North Dakota. In April 1834, the men sold the site to the American Fur Company and abandoned the location. The new company kept the trading post in operation until 1836 when they closed it.

The site then became a storage depot and livestock pen for Fort Union until it was demolished in the 1840s. In 1842, the Union Fur Company, a competitor of the American Fur Company, built another trading post about one-half mile east of the remains of Fort William. The new trading post, called Fort Mortimer, operated until 1846 when it was bought out by the American Fur Company. Years later, the American Fur Company would establish a second Fort William at the site of the former Fort Mortimer in 1858. Built of adobe, the fort operated until 1866. It was then dismantled and the salvaged material was utilized to build Fort Buford, North Dakota.


By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated December 2020.

Also See:

Forts Across America

Montana Forts

Montana – Big Sky Country

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