Search for "New France"

Displaying 21-30 of 30 results
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Michel Cadotte

Michel Cadotte, pioneer fur trader, interpreter, mediator (born 22 July 1764 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; died 8 July 1837 in La Pointe, Wisconsin). Cadotte established a large, successful fur trade along the south shore of Lake Superior, which covered present-day northern Wisconsin and extended into parts of northern Minnesota. Half French Canadian and half Ojibwe, he endeared himself to the Indigenous people of the area by marrying Ikwesewe, the daughter of an Ojibwe chief, and by his compassionate understanding of Indigenous ways. These factors allowed Cadotte to gain a monopoly on the fur trade with the Indigenous peoples of the area.

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Peter Warren Dease

Peter Warren Dease, fur trader, arctic explorer (b at Mackinac I, Mich 1 Jan 1788; d at Montréal 17 Jan 1863). From age 13 he was engaged in the FUR TRADE, first with the XY Co, then the NORTH WEST CO and finally the HUDSON'S BAY CO.

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Sir William Johnson

Sir William Johnson, merchant, fur trader, colonial official (born ca. 1715 in Smithtown, County Meath, Ireland; died 11 July 1774 in Johnson Hall, near Johnstown, NY).

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John Bell

John Bell, fur trader, explorer (b on the Isle of Mull, Scot 1799; d at Saugeen, Ont 24 June 1868). John Bell joined the North West Company as a clerk in 1818.

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Simon McTavish

Simon McTavish, fur-trade merchant (b in Stratherrick, Scot c 1750; d at Montréal 6 July 1804). He immigrated to North America at age 13, probably as an apprentice to a merchant. After engaging in the fur trade out of

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Cuthbert Grant

Cuthbert Grant, fur trader, Métis leader (born circa 1793 in Fort de la Rivière Tremblante, SK; died 15 July 1854 in White Horse Plains, MB). Grant led the Métis to victory at Seven Oaks in 1816 and founded the Métis community Grantown (later St. François Xavier), Manitoba, in 1824. Today, Cuthbert Grant is hailed as a founder of the Métis nation. (See also Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Peter Bostonais Pangman

Peter (or Pierre) Bostonais Pangman, Métis leader, bison hunter (born 20 October 1791 in the North Saskatchewan River Valley area, present-day AB; died 4 March 1850 in St. François Xavier, present-day MB). Peter Bostonais Pangman was a skilled hunter who helped provide much-needed bison meat to the Red River Colony. He was actively involved in the Pemmican Wars and events surrounding the Battle of Seven Oaks. As part of the Pembina fur trade, Pangman was a key figure who rallied and inspired the Red River Valley Métis to see and express themselves with an identity separate from surrounding Indigenous peoples. The name Bostonais is variously spelled Bastonnais and Bostonnais.

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Women and the Fur Trade

An Algonquin man declared to Jesuit missionary Paul Le Jeune in 1639: “To live among us without a wife is to live without help, without home and to be always wandering.” While the importance of having a home and wife may have been lost on the itinerant and celibate Jesuit priest, for many First Nations this quote evokes the social, economic and political advantages of marriages, especially in the context of the fur trade. Indigenous women’s labour produced and mended clothing, preserved meats, harvested maple sugar and root vegetables like turnips, trapped small game, netted fish and cultivated wild rice — all crucial survival and subsistence activities in the boreal forests, prairie parklands and northern plains of fur trade society. Through intraclan marriages (see Clan), First Nations women forged extended kin lineages, established social obligations and reciprocal ties, and negotiated for the access and use of common resources across a vast and interconnected Indigenous world. Marriages between different Indigenous villages, clans and nations shaped regional politics, fostered lateral marital alliances and created a geographically diverse and widespread kinship network throughout the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence River Basin, the Hudson Bay watershed, and the Pacific Slope (see Pacific Ocean and Canada.)

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James McGill

James McGill, fur trader, merchant, politician, philanthropist (born 6 October 1744 in Glasgow, Scotland; died 19 December 1813 in Montreal, Lower Canada). James McGill was one of Montreal’s most prominent citizens in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He grew a successful career as a fur trader into a business empire. McGill also held various positions in public office, including three terms in Lower Canada’s legislature. His will contained the endowment for McGill University. James McGill’s achievements cannot be separated from the fact that he enslaved Black and Indigenous people and profited from this practice.