"Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard" is a journal describing the adventures of a company of 70 men, who left St. Louis in the Spring of 1831, on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, for the purpose of trapping for Furs, and trading with the Indians. Zenas Leonard's narrative is comprised of a minute description of the incidents of the adventure, and a valuable history of this immense territory — not from maps and charts, but from personal observation.
Zenas Leonard (1809 – 1857) was an American mountain man, explorer and trader. He was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. As a young adult, he worked for his uncle in Pittsburgh before moving to St. Louis and working as a clerk for the fur company, Gannt and Blackwell.
In 1831 Leonard went with Gant and Blackwell's company of about 70 men on a trapping and trading expedition. They survived, in part, by trading with Native Americans. Among the more helpful tribal members he reported encountering was a negro who claimed to have been on Lewis & Clark's expedition, and who may have been the explorer-slave York. In 1835 Leonard returned to Independence, Missouri with enough wealth in furs to establish a store and trading post at Fort Osage. He continued to trade along the river for the rest of his life.