A transcription of this contract was published in an appendix to James, Thomas, 1782-1847. Three years among the Indians and Mexicans , by General Thomas James. Edited with notes and biographical sketches, by Walter B. Douglas. St. Louis, Missouri Historical Society, 1916.
Articles of Contract and agreement, this Day entered into between Benjn Wilkinson Agent for the St. Louis Missouri fur Company of the one Part and Thomas James of the St. Louis District of the other part, Witnesseth, That the said Thomas James has this day engaged, promised and bound himself, and does by these presents engage, promise and bind himself to do and perform all and singular the services that may be required of him by the said Company in the prosecution of a voyage from St. Louis to the Head Waters of the Missouri, or to other Places on the Waters of said River Missouri, and to obey do and perform all Duties and lawfull Commands required of him the said Thomas James by such Person or Persons as have the management or command of the embarkation or expedition up the said River, among which Duties and Lawful Commands the following are recited, to wit--that the said Thomas James is to present himself in proper Person at the town of St. Louis at such Periods as the Company may deem Proper ready and prepared to commence said Voyage--that he is to labor and assist in the transportation of baggage, loading and unloading of Boats, rowing, towing and all other things connected with or relating to the safe and secure passage of Men, Baggage, Merchandise or other things from the town of St. Louis to the Head Waters of the said River, that on his Arrival there he is to Labor in trapping, hunting and collecting Furs, meats, Peltries, and to the best of his abilities, skill and cunning, and is to remain with said Company or to be removed by the said Company from place to place on the said Waters of the Missouri as may be deemed most to their advantage always in case of a removal to assist in transporting baggage, merchandise &c, and finally is bound to do and perform all those things which men engaged under similar Circumstances and with the same Views, are bound to do and perform, obeying and executing with promptness all Lawful and reasonable orders which may be given him by those Persons who command the expedition, and the said Benjn Wilkinson in the Name and on behalf of the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company does covenant with the said Thomas James as follows to wit--that the said Thomas James shall be furnished with four men and the necessary Equipment for himself and four men for hunting and trapping and to allow him as full compensation one equal fifth part of his and the four men's hunt, this contract to continue for the term of three years, unless sooner discharged by the Company.
All which the contracting Parties aforesaid promise to do and perform under the penalty of Five Hundred Dollars, if either party shall break this Contract.
St. Louis March 29th 1809.
Agent for the said Company.
Jno A. Graham.