People of the Fur Trade: From Native Trappers to Chief Factors by Irene Ternier Gordon
The years from the fall of New France in 1763 to the amalgamation of the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company in 1821 were marked by fierce competition in the fur trade. Traders from the warring companies pushed west, undertaking incredible voyages in their search for new sources of furs. Irene Gordon explores the eventful lives of those who worked in the trade, including Alexander Henry the Elder, a trader and merchant who left a vivid written account of his experiences; Net-no-kwa, a woman of the Ottawa tribe who was so highly regarded by the traders at Michilimackinac that they saluted her with gunfire every time she arrived there; and the bold and flamboyant Scotsman Colin Robertson, who used “glittering pomposity” to impress those he dealt with. From chief factors to servants, independent traders, Native trappers and Metis, the people of the fur trade left an indelible imprint on North American history.