Fur trading library of congress 770x470

The Fur Trade of North America

  • 1530

    Jacques Cartier and the Origins of the Fur Trade

    Jacques Cartier and the Origins of the Fur Trade
    During is many voyages between Europe and the new world Jacques Cartier conducted some of the first recorded fur trades with the First Nation peoples.
  • Radisson and Des Groseilliers

    Radisson and Des Groseilliers
    These famous pair were brothers-in-law who worked the fur trade and explored much of what is now Canada. The pair would lead to the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company after they were entered into the service of the English in 1636.
  • Coureurs des Bois

    Coureurs des Bois
    Just like the Voyageurs the Coureurs des Bois were fur traders but they were the first officially to trade furs before companies controlled the trade. They were independent and small considering the size of the fur trade.
  • The Hudson's Bay Company

    The Hudson's Bay Company
    The Hudson's Bay Company was founded by Radisson and Grosilliers, who after years of trading and exploring Canada for the French entered into English service in 1636 and would create an enterprise that would last centuries. The company itself controlled on mass the fur trade and the people who worked the trade. (Its now a clothes store)
  • Voyageurs

    The Voyageurs were independent contractors, workers or minor partners in a company who were involved in the fur trade. When the fur trade changed the group of men working in it changed too. The Voyageurs were often coureurs des bois, independent but not solitary traders.
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    The Height of the Fur Trade

    During these 180 years the fur trade grew Canada into the country it is today. People came from all over Europe to find their fortune in the fur trade growing the population of this great country.
  • Pierre LaVerendye

    Pierre LaVerendye
    Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye was a military officer, explorer and Fur Trader who travelled areas around Lake Superior and present day Manitoba with his four sons. Two of his four sons were also the first french to see the eastern side of the rocky mountains. During his explorations Pierre founded multiple trading posts along Lake Superior.
  • Samuel Hearne

    Samuel Hearne
    An English explorer and fur trader Samuel was the first European an overland trip across Northern Canada and to the Arctic sea. Samuel Hearne was also one of the most significant men in the early development of the Hudson's Bay Company.
  • The North West Company

    The North West Company
    The North West Company was a fur trading company that rivaled the Hudson's Bay company in what is now western Canada. In 1821 the North West Company after years of feuding with the Hudson's Bay Company decided to merge with its rival and become one massive Fur Trade company.
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    The Napoleonic War

    During this time span the British had to taxed the Canadian colonies heavily due to the expenses of the war in Europe. This also meant that furs sold for less as they were not a necessity during war time there was also risk they would be sunk by French ships.
  • Pacific Fur Trading co. and John Jacob Astor

    Pacific Fur Trading co. and John Jacob Astor
    The Pacific Fur Trading Co. was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1810 creating a string of forts and trading post all along Canada and the United States. During the War of 1812 John and his partners decided to sell their supplies to their rival the North West Company, the company was dissolved that July.
  • The Red River Colony and Lord Selkirk

    The Red River Colony and Lord Selkirk
    In 1811 Thomas Douglas, The 5th Earl of Selkirk was granted land by the Hudson's Bay Company that would come to be known as the Red River Colony or the Selkirk Settlement or more commonly; Assiniboia.
  • The War of 1812

    The War of 1812
    The war between the British colonies in Canada and the United States involuntarily caused problems for the fur trade in both countries. The danger of hunting and selling furs during the time period was in some cases to much for the hunters.
  • The Saskatchewan River Fur Trade

    The Saskatchewan River Fur Trade
    The Saskatchewan River was almost like a highway for fur traders. Goods going West and Furs going East made this river necessary for the fur trade all along the river and colonies and settlements along its banks. With lush plains and forest along the river furs were aplenty.
  • The End of the Fur Trade

    The End of the Fur Trade
    By 1850 the fur trade had all but come to an end due to beaver pelts becoming out of fashion in Europe creating a halt in fur trading all over North America. Though officially being over the fur trade still exists farmers and hunters sell furs from all over Canada and the United States.
  • Confederation

    The creation of the first four provinces - Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • Fur Trade and Fashion

    Fur Trade and Fashion
    In the early 1880s the fashion industry introduced the idea of fur coats to Europe and the British North American colonies increasing the need of furs everywhere.
  • Wildlife Management

    Wildlife Management
    By the 1940s people didn't see animals and nature as a necessity but as a resource making them endangered. People didn't know when to stop. Those same years the governments decided that an act was necessary to control the amount a species was hunted and sold. The Endangered Species Act, Game keeping, Wildlife Conservation etc.