By Jennifer S. H. Brown
The North American fur alternate of the eighteenth and 19th centuries used to be a vividly complicated and altering social international. Strangers in Blood fills a big hole in fur exchange literature by way of systematically interpreting the investors as a gaggle -- their backgrounds, social styles, family lives and households, and the issues in their offspring.
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Additional info for Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country
The trade, after all, could not be eliminated; it remained of critical economic importance. In the first half of the eighteenth century, it was also becoming clear that the presence of French traders in the Northwest had a broader political significance—they maintained Indian-French alliances and a French presence in lands that might otherwise be taken over by British Hudson's Bay Company traders to the north and Anglo-American traders to 6 Strangers in Blood the south. The French had lost any claim to Hudson Bay with the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713; but they still could, and did, make their influence felt in the areas around and beyond the Great Lakes.
French fur trade activities were inextricably linked with colonial economic and political affairs and with the growing pains of a youthful and expanding settlement. The British, in contrast, were spared the complications and costs of colonization in Hudson Bay. But they faced other problems in conducting their trade from so great a distance. Lacking an established New World base, the early company directors were much handicapped by their unfamiliarity with local conditions and native peoples. Accordingly, while both the British and the French initially attempted to conduct the fur trade through royally chartered, monopolistic companies, these companies followed differing courses to differing fates.
When company critics used the term, however, in the 1749 parliamentary The Backgrounds and Antecedents of the British Traders 19 inquiry, they clearly had in mind the substantial agricultural developments achieved in other colonial areas. The company, they charged, had not tried "to settle any Plantation or Colony, in any Part of that vast Tract of Land" and had "not improved or cultivated above 4 Acres of Land about all their Factories" (Great Britain 1749: 26, 10). By the early eighteenth century, company men were also making idiosyncratic use of another British place term.