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Furs.

Meet "Bucky"
Book Thirteen: From the very early days of French Canada, even before Champlain, there were two emerging industries: cod fishing in the waters off the Atlantic where this abundant crop could be dried, salted and taken back to Europe and the fur trade where all manor of animals were shot or more commonly trapped for their furs, highly prized in the old world. Of the two, fish was probably the most lucrative, but in the interior regions like Québec, furs were king, and they certainly remain the most famous today. Many animals were prized for their hides, but the beaver is most familiar to today’s audience. Their fur was used for coats to shield from the winter wind, but more famously for the beaver hat. More to come next week. Read More 
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Book Thirteen, ribbon farms

Quebec Ribbon Farms
Book Thirteen: Early French-Canadian land control. OK, here is my simple-minded description of a convoluted topic. All the land belonged to France, i.e. the King. He, however, gave control to an important Frenchman, in this case Cardinal Richelieu, who in turn gave control to a group known as the Company of 100 Associates. To my knowledge almost all of the people mentioned so far had never seen Canada and likely had little knowledge as to where it even was. The Company in turn divided the land into large strips of land called fiefs or seigneuries. These men, such as Robert Giffard and Jean Juchereau, generally came to and lived in Canada to oversee their land. (Actually still the King’s land). Eventually they began to divide these lands into smaller strips called arriere-fiefs or sous-seigneuries. These were controlled by early settlers like our five families from Perche (Guyon, Langlois, etc.) They could then work some land and rent the rest to tenants who were non-indentured men who came to Canada. They could also employ, engager, who were men who came with an agreement to stay and work for three years, after which they could try to obtain a piece of a sous-seigneurie, find a job, or return to France. The tenants and engager gave a segment of their produce to the sous-seigneurie, who gave a share to the seigneurie, who gave a share to the Company who gave a share Richelieu who gave it to the King. Obviously, the first people to come to Canada did the best with this system. Read More 
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First Families

Large families grow nations
Book Thirteen: First families of Canada. By convincing Robert Giffard to bring families as well as workers to reestablish the Canadian colony, Françoise helps grantee the ultimate success of Canada. However the five families from Perche are a meager beginning and it will take more than a generation for enough families and marriageable women to travel to the frozen north. The marriage of Françoise and Noël Langlois (the third in Canadian history) will help as they produce ten children (eight survive) and eventually 74 grandchildren! Read More 
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Calvados the Place

Manor house today in Calvados, France
Book Thirteen: Calvados: the place. Today, the department of Calvados is in the region of Normandie. The town of Mortagne is in the department of Orne in the region of Normandie. In 1650, the geography was the same but the political geography has been ever changing. Normandie was called a province in 1650, and Calvados was a comté or county. Mortagne was a town in Perche which was also a comté or county, but today what was Perche is officially called Orne. (However, anyone you ask will tell you they still call it Perche.) In the French Revolution (1790), the traditional political geography of France was changed from Provinces to 83 Departments and the target has been changing ever since. I, for one, now find it incomprehensible. Maybe if I drink some Calvados… Read More 
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