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Native trappers

Fur trade
Book Thirteen: Native trappers. As I have indicated, most trapping of beavers was done by the natives and the Europeans traded with them. Although the beaver seems like a large rodent, its ecology is a bit fragile and as the European market grew, the natives attempted to keep up by increasing their trapping. Soon the beaver population dwindled causing the trappers—and European trappers to move further into the interior. Read More 
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Voyageurs and Coureur des Bois

In search of the beaver
Book Thirteen: Voyageurs and Coureurs des Bois. These two terms are used for the Canadians who took on the rugged life of traveling into the wild to trade for furs. Originally they were all Coureurs des Bois which means loosely, runner in the woods. These, men worked independently as free traders. As civilization arrived, the government and the rich Canadians who ran the fur trade, buying from the trappers and selling to the French, became known as Voyageurs which means loosely a commercial traveler. They were licensed and controlled by the government and worked with in the law. Coureurs des Bois became a term for outlawed unlicensed traders. Read More 
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Trapping the beaver

Book Thirteen: Who traps the beaver? The view of a Canadian Mountain man setting traps in the woods is not really accurate. Most trapping was done by natives. The Indians were much more skilled and it was easier and more profitable for the Canadians to tour the wild each year, stopping at villages to trade European goods valued by the natives, (knives, pans, tools, jewelry, etc. and later even guns). The Canadians would then return to the markets in, Québec, Montreal, and other posts to sell the furs to merchants who would ship them to Europe or occasionally use in Canada. Read More 
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More Beavers

Beaver fur top hat
Book Thirteen: More Beavers: Beavers were trapped for fur for centuries in the old world, but by 1600, the European beaver was all but extinct. This shortage was rescued by the timely immigration to a seemingly insatiable source of furs, the New World. Furs were acquired with the help of the natives and sent to the old world where they would be used for coats and other items to keep one warm. Furs were also combed of their hairs to make sleek items with a velour or a smooth surface like leather. Hats were very much in fashion and the beaver provide material for everything from a Davy Crockett type hat to the smooth top hat valued by the rich. Read More 
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