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Forging a Fur Empire: Expeditions in the Snake River Country, 1809-1824

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Forging a Fur Empire: Expeditions in the Snake River Country, 1809-1824 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alexander Ross, the pioneer recorder of the early fur trade in the far northern West, led a beaver trapping expedition in 1824 into the vast, unfamiliar territory east of trading posts in the Pacific Northwest. He and his men ventured deep into Snake River country in present-day Idaho and Montana. In this narrative, based on the accounts left by Ross and others, historian and legal scholar John Phillip Reid describes the experiences of the earliest Hudsonandrsquo;s Bay Company fur-trapping expeditionsandmdash;ventures usually overlooked by historiansandmdash;and explores the interaction between the diverse cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

Ross recorded in exquisite detail the endless vexations of managing a brigade drawn from the widest possible mixtures of ethnic backgrounds and nationalitiesandmdash;his men included mandeacute;tis (or mixed-bloods), Americans, Canadians, and Native andldquo;freemenandrdquo; (independent contractors) from over a dozen Indian nations. Rossandrsquo;s accounts reveal the consequences of running low on supplies and having to butcher the animals, and how hunting game for sport threatened the stock of ammunition and the condition of the horses. Entire expeditions were at the mercy of the most careless trapper and the weakest horse. Hiring guides was chancy, for local tribesmen did not always know the locations of beaver streams, or even the terrain ahead. Religion could be problematic, as well; both French Canadians and Iroquois refused to work on Catholic holy days.

More than merely chronicling Rossandrsquo;s accounts, Reid uses early trapping expeditions as a lens for examining legal, institutional, and commercial behavior among the diverse population the fur trade drew together. In addition, he assesses broader issues such as cultural conflict between Ross and his men, and the Hudsonandrsquo;s Bay Companyandrsquo;s drive to discourage American settlement in the Northwest by exterminating the beaver there. Those interested in the history of the early Northwest will find this well-crafted saga both engaging and enlightening.

Book News Annotation:

Reid took time off from teaching responsibilities at New York U. School of Law (he's now emeritus) to research and write this history of early fur trading in the far northern West. He bases his narrative on accounts written by Alexander Ross (who led a beaver trapping expedition in 1824, in what is now Idaho and Montana) and others, exploring cultural interactions as well as legal, institutional, and commercial behaviors. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Alexander Ross, the pioneer recorder of the early fur trade in the far northern West, led a beaver trapping expedition in 1824 into the vast, unfamiliar territory east of trading posts in the Pacific Northwest. He and his men ventured deep into Snake River country in present-day Idaho and Montana. In this narrative, based on the accounts left by Ross and others, historian and legal scholar John Phillip Reid describes the experiences of the earliest Hudsonandrsquo;s Bay Company fur-trapping expeditionsandmdash;ventures usually overlooked by historiansandmdash;and explores the interaction between the diverse cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

About the Author

John Phillip Reid is Professor of Law at New York University and legal historian. He is the author of Law for the Elephant, The Concept of Liberty in the Age of the American Revolution, and numerous other books.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780870624025
Author:
Reid, John Phillip
Publisher:
Arthur H. Clark Company
Subject:
Fur trade
Subject:
Alexander Ross
Subject:
Husdon Bay Company
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Western Frontiersmen Series
Series Volume:
36
Publication Date:
20111131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9.25 x 3 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Idaho » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » General

Forging a Fur Empire: Expeditions in the Snake River Country, 1809-1824 New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Arthur H. Clark Company - English 9780870624025 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Alexander Ross, the pioneer recorder of the early fur trade in the far northern West, led a beaver trapping expedition in 1824 into the vast, unfamiliar territory east of trading posts in the Pacific Northwest. He and his men ventured deep into Snake River country in present-day Idaho and Montana. In this narrative, based on the accounts left by Ross and others, historian and legal scholar John Phillip Reid describes the experiences of the earliest Hudsonandrsquo;s Bay Company fur-trapping expeditionsandmdash;ventures usually overlooked by historiansandmdash;and explores the interaction between the diverse cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
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