Art. II. Femmes du Pays : Women of the Fur Trade, 1774-1821, by A. Gottfred.
Being a brief introduction to the role of women in the fur trade, and some suggestions for female reenactors.
Many male reenactors portray the dashing voyageurs and stolid Bay men of the British and French fur trade. Little information is available, however, to women interested in participating in fur trade reenactments.
The roles played by women in the fur trade were incredibly varied. Although there was a handful of white women in the fur country after 1812, most fur traders married Native or Mixed-blood women. These relationships had a firm, practical foundation. By marrying a Native or Mixed-blood woman, fur traders strengthened trade ties with her Native relatives. The marriage also could help to improve relations with the rest of her nation, as the fur trader now had ready access to inside information on their language and culture. There were also tangible benefits to having a 'country wife.' In Native cultures, women usually set up camp, dressed furs, made leather, cooked meals, gathered firewood, made moccasins, netted snowshoes, and many other things that were essential to daily life for both Natives and fur traders, yet were unfamiliar tasks for Europeans. Country wives were more than diplomatic pawns or unpaid servants, however ; they were women with minds and hearts, thoughts and feelings, who occupied a unique position between two cultures.
Brief Introduction to the Fur Trade
The period from 1774 to 1821 was one of the most exciting in the history of the North American fur trade. Before 1774, the two main forces in the fur trade had remained largely separate, with the Montreal-based fur traders trading in the Great Lakes area, and southern and western Manitoba. The London-based Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) stayed in their forts on the shore of Hudson's Bay and waited, like English shopkeepers, for the Natives to bring their furs to them. The problem, however, was that the 'pedlars from Quebec' were cutting into the HBC's business by intercepting the Natives on their way to the Bay and trading with them on the spot.
This loss of business became so substantial that it prompted the establishment of the HBC's first post to be located a significant distance inland from Hudson's Bay. In 1774, Samuel Hearne traveled to a lake near what is now the eastern border of Saskatchewan, and established Cumberland House.
The independent peddlers began to have problems. They had been competing amongst themselves intensely for a number of years, and the entry of the HBC into the inland trade made them realize that if they didn't stick together, they would have significant problems. They started to pool their capital together in a number of joint ventures which eventually grew to become the North West Company (NWC).
The HBC and NWC had corporate culture with a vengeance. They had different management styles, operated in different languages and followed different trade routes.
The HBC's major post was York Factory on Hudson's Bay. Every year, one or more HBC ships would sail from England to York Factory to bring a fresh supply of trade goods and take away the furs that had been traded that year. Most of the HBC's laborers were drawn from the Orkney Islands, and had a basic education in reading and sums.
The North West Company was a partnership between the Montreal agents, who purchased the trade goods and sold the furs, and the wintering partners, who stayed in the Northwest to carry out trade with the Natives. Their birchbark canoes were manned by French-speaking voyageurs, making French the everyday language of the NWC. Every summer, NWC agents and wintering partners would meet at company headquarters on Lake Superior (first at Grand Portage, later at Fort William). They would discuss business while the voyageurs from the fur country exchanged their loads of furs with the trade goods brought by the voyageurs from Montreal. After the meetings were over, the wintering partners and their voyageurs (called hivernants, 'winterers') returned to the fur country with a fresh load of trade goods while the Montreal agents and voyageurs (called mangeurs du lard, 'pork-eaters') took the furs on to Montreal.
As the two companies' competition increased, the Nor'westers pushed further and further west to open up new areas to trade : the Saskatchewan, the Athabasca, and finally, after many years of hard effort, over the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. They also traded in the Upper Missouri. Everywhere the Nor'westers went, they were soon followed by the Bay men. Shooting broke out, however, on two notable occasions : first, when the HBC established a permanent agricultural settlement in the middle of the Red River area that supplied a vast amount of provisions for the NWC ; and second, when the HBC started to trade in the fur-rich Athabasca, which for decades had been the NWC's exclusive domain. Something had to give, and in 1821 the two companies merged. The Northwest fur trade would never be quite as exciting again.
Marriage in the Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company also had very different policies with relation to women. These policies reflected differences in the organization of both companies.
HBC policy was set by a committee of shareholders in London. The London Committee feared that wives and children would cause the company needless expense, and so, from the 1740's to the 1760's, company policy was to bar women from the forts, and not allow the men to marry. Not surprisingly, this policy did not succeed. The factors and chief factors who ran fur company fur posts all had wives. Indeed, they often flouted regulations by taking more than one wife— in one case, six wives! Prominent HBC officers who practiced polygamy included James Isham, Joseph Isbister, Robert Pilgrim, Moses Norton, Matthew Cocking, and William Hemmings Cook . It seems that the officers felt since they were breaking the rules by marrying at all, there was no need to stop with just one wife. For quite a long time, only HBC officers married, but eventually even the working men married, starting (very roughly) around the 1780's.
Polygamy among HBC officers began to decline in the 1780's (the other men were never allowed more than one wife), beginning with the newly-established inland posts. Polygamy was still present, however. As late as 1817, HBC officer Thomas Vincent was dumped by his first wife when he decided to take a second wife . By this time, however, HBC men were more likely to marry Mixed-blood women. These weddings began to take a European form, with vows taken before witnesses, a dram given to all present, and then a wedding dance. After the 1821 merger between the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, HBC policy called for a marriage contract to be signed by the bride and groom before witnesses.
Marriage in the North West Company
The attitude toward marriage in the North West Company and its Montreal-based precursors was quite different from the HBC's policy. Marriage was not a dubious privilege allowed only to those with a high rank within the company. All ranks, from wintering partner to voyageur, were allowed to marry. Married men were more likely to renew their contracts so as to stay with their families. NWC employees had to get permission from their bourgeois (boss) to marry, but permission seems usually to have been granted. At first, only Native women were in the fur country. As the daughters of marriages between Native mothers and trader fathers grew up, however, the next generation of European traders could marry these Mixed-blood women, and did. It was not unusual for Mixed-blood girls to marry at age twelve, and be mothers at fourteen .
As time went by, the number of NWC employees and their families swelled. Since the NWC fed and clothed its employees' families, this meant expenses were increasing at a time when competition with the HBC was heating up. In 1806, the company introduced a new policy : NWC employees were not to be allowed to marry Native women. Instead, they would be encouraged to marry Mixed-blood women, who were already being supported by the company. Exceptions were made when the company needed to make trade alliances with new tribes, as the company's operations expanded westward .
Fur Trade Weddings
There were no priests or ministers in the Northwest to officiate at weddings until 1818. Before then, most men married according to Native custom (à la façon du pays). Daniel Harmon's journal describes such a fur trade wedding in December 1801 :
'Payet one of my Interpreters, has taken one of the Natives Daughters for a Wife, and to her Parents he gave in Rum & dry Goods &c. to the value of two hundred Dollars, and all the cerimonies attending such circumstances are that when it becomes time to retire, the Husband or rather Bridegroom (for as yet they are not joined by any bonds) shews his Bride where his Bed is, and then they, of course both go to rest together, and so they continue to do as long as they can agree among themselves, but when either is displeased with their choice, he or she will seek another Partner...which is law here...'
Native customs varied, but once the parents consented to the marriage, tradition often called for the payment of a bride price : gifts given by the groom to the bride's parents, probably to compensate for their loss of her labor. Payet paid $200 worth in rum and other goods for his country wife. In 1803, Alexander Henry the Younger noted that 'it is common in the North West to give a horse for a woman.' Once the bride price had been agreed upon, the pipe was smoked to seal the agreement, and sometimes the bride was lectured by her parents upon her new life and responsibilities. The new couple then went to the home of her new husband, where she often donned new European-style clothing. According to Native tradition, the couple was free to separate at any time, at least until the first child was born, but the bride price would not be returned .
This was in strong contrast to English culture of the time, in which legal marriages were made for life by the clergy. In Scotland, the law allowed marriages to be made by mutual consent, without clergy . This led to some confusion amongst fur traders about the status of a marriage à la façon du pays. Many men, especially senior Nor'westers, regarded it as a life-long commitment equivalent to a legal marriage ; other men viewed it as a common-law union which could be dissolved by either partner at any time ; and still others saw their new mates as women they were just 'sleeping with', and treated them like chattels .
When it came time for the man to retire from the fur trade, there were difficult decisions to be made. Some men decided to forego the benefits of life in Upper and Lower Canada and remain with their families in the Northwest after retirement. Others, especially officers, decided to return to Canada or the United Kingdom upon retirement. Although it was commonly considered that the women would have great difficulty in adjusting to 'civilization', some men did take their wives back east with them. Usually, though, women were left behind in the fur country. Under the practice known as 'turning off', a new marriage would be arranged with an active fur trader, sometimes with a dowry from her former husband, so that the woman and any children would be provided for. Sometimes, though, women were simply abandoned.
Tent Mates and Canoe Mates— Fur Trade Women at Work
For years, it was against Hudson's Bay Company policy to permit their employees (called servants) to marry Native women. Marriages took place anyway— after all, the company executives who made this policy were in London— and sometimes the employees tried to explain why they broke the rules. When Samuel Hearne and his men built Cumberland House in 1774, it was the first HBC post to be established at a significant distance from Hudson's Bay. As they prepared to spend their first winter there, Hearne arranged for two or three Native women to stay with them. He explained that he needed them to 'Make, Mend, Knitt Snowshoes &c. for us dureing the winter.' In 1789, HBC clerk & surveyor Philip Turnor noted that 'Women are as usefull as men upon the Journeys.' When the HBC's Malchom Ross was travelling to the Athabasca country with his wife and two children in 1790, fellow traveler Peter Fidler noted in his journal that 'an Indian woman at a House [i.e., fur post] is particularly useful in making shoes, cutting line, netting snow shoes, cleaning and stretching Beaver skins &c., that the Europeans are not acquainted with.'
By 1802, HBC employees were openly defiant. When the London Committee of the HBC hinted that they did not care to clothe their servants' wives, the York Factory council indignantly responded that
'the women are deserving of some encouragement and indulgence from your Honors, they clean and put into a state of preservation all Beavr. and Otter skins brought by the Indians undried and in bad Condition. They prepare Line for Snow shoes and knit them also without which your Honors servants could not give efficient opposition to the Canadian traders they make Leather shoes for the men who are obliged to travel about in search of Indians and furs and are usefull in a variety of other instances, in short they are Virtually your Honors Servants.' 
In the rival North West Company (the 'Canadian traders' mentioned above), women were part of daily operations. In 1789, as Nor'wester Alexander Mackenzie explored the river which would later bear his name, the wives of his voyageurs were busily sewing moccasins while the men towed the canoe past rapids .
North West Company journals show country wives working at a wide variety of tasks which varied with the seasons. As winter approached, the women put the netting on snowshoes . Indeed, it seems that many fur traders were unable to net their own snowshoes ; in 1786, Alexander Mackenzie wrote a letter complaining that 'I have not a single one in my fort [at Île-à-la-Crosse] that can make Rackets [snowshoes]. I do not know what to do without these articles see what it is to have no wives. Try and get Rackets— there is no stirring without them.' During the winter, the women sewed the bags for holding pemmican. 'Women all busy stretching buffalo hides to make pemican bags and pack cords', Alexander Henry the Younger noted in his Fort Vermilion journal for February 4, 1810 . Making pemmican was a year-round task, and women were responsible for every step : cutting the fresh meat into long thin strips, drying them, and beating the dried meat into flakes ; cutting up fat and rendering it into tallow ; gathering and drying berries ; making the leather bags ; and finally mixing the ingredients into the high-protein, high-calorie mixture that fuelled the voyageurs. One pound of pemmican was generally accepted to be the equivalent of eight pounds of fresh meat. Another job that fell within the women's sphere was collecting and preparing wattap (spruce roots) and gum (pine or spruce resin) for use in building and repairing birchbark canoes. Wattap was used to sew the birchbark, and gum was used for caulking.
In the early spring, 'the juice of the maple tree began to flow, and the women repaired to the woods for the purpose of collecting it' for maple sugar. Later, when the soil could be worked, it was time for the women to turn their attention to the small garden which was attached to almost every fur post ; there they were occupied in 'preparing ground, sowing potatoes, corn, & squash, burning brush, etc.' As soon as the rivers were free of ice, it was time to take the furs east, where they would be exchanged at a rendezvous point such as Grand Portage, Fort William, or Gordon House, for a fresh supply of trade goods. Sometimes the canoes were manned solely by men, but it was not unusual for women to travel with them, as passengers, guides, and occasionally paddlers. When travelling, the women would pitch the tents, make & mend moccasins, and gather berries and firewood. On a difficult overland journey in 1806, Henry the Younger was happy to arrive at the camp of another Nor'wester, to find that 'Madame Dorion...had made a good fire to drive away the mosquitoes. She was sent on ahead for that purpose, and had also prepared some excellent appalats of buffalo meat and gathered some nearly ripe pears [saskatoon berries].' The women who stayed behind often supported themselves and their children throughout the summer by fishing .
Dress of Country Wives
The largest Native group to have good relations with the fur traders was the Cree, and most Native wives of Canadian fur traders were drawn from this group. NWC fur trader and explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie provided a full description of Cree women's clothing in 1801 :
'Their shoes are commonly plain, and their leggins gartered beneath the knee. The coat, or body covering, falls down to the middle of the leg, and is fastened over the shoulders with cords, a flap or cape turning down about eight inches, both before and behind, and agreeably ornamented with quill-work and fringe ; the bottom is also fringed, and fancifully painted as high as the knee. As it is very loose, it is enclosed round the waist with a stiff belt, decorated with tassels, and fastened behind. The arms are covered to the wrist, with detached sleeves, which are sewed as far as the bend of the arm ; from thence they are drawn up to the neck, and the corners of them fall down behind, as low as the waist. The cap, when they wear one, consists of a certain quantity of leather or cloth, sewed at one end, by which means it is kept on the head, and, hanging down the back, is fastened to the belt, as well as under the chin. The upper garment is a robe like that worn by the men. Their hair is divided on the crown, and tied behind, or sometimes fastened in large knots over the ears. They are fond of European articles, and prefer them to their own native commodities. Their ornaments consist in common with all savages, in bracelets, rings, and similar baubles. Some of the women tattoo three perpendicular lines, which are sometimes double : one from the center of the chin to that of the under lip, and one parallel on either side to the corner of the mouth.' 
Fellow Nor'wester and explorer David Thompson description of their dress agrees with Mackenzie's, and adds some details.
'The dress of the [Cree] women is of 1½ yards of broad cloth sewed like a sock, open at both ends, one end is tossed over the shoulders, the middle belted round the waist, the lower part like a petticoat, covers to the ankles, and gives them a decent appearance. The sleeves covers the arms and shoulders, and are separate from the body dress. The rest is much the same as the men. For a head dress they have a foot of broad cloth sewed at one end, ornamented with beads and gartering, this end is on the head, the loose parts are over the shoulders, and is well adapted to defend the head and neck from the cold and snow.' 
Cree women wore bracelets of copper or brass scavenged from broken kettles, made earrings from brass snare wire, and were fond of brass finger rings. Women from other Native groups, such as the Assiniboine and Sarcee, dressed much like the Cree .
It was usual for the Montreal-based fur traders to provide clothing for their employees, their wives and families. This irritated HBC clerk & surveyor Philip Turnor. In 1779, he complained to the London Committee that 'if he [a Canadian clerk] chuses to keep a girl which most of them does the Masters finds her in Apparel so that they need not spend one farthing of their Wages...' 
There are a number of other clues as to how the women dressed. In 1791, the HBC's Duncan Cameron described Nor'westers' country wives as being 'drest in Scarlot, Callicos, and Silk ribbands.' In 1800, when a Native woman married a NWC fur trader, she was 'clothed after the fashion of the Canadians, with a Shirt, short Gown, Petticoats & Leggins &c.' Fourteen years later, when a Spokane woman married a Pacific Fur Company clerk, 'she was handed over to the dressmaker, who instantly discharged her leathern chemise, and supplied its place by more appropriate clothing...' When Royal Navy midshipman James Back left the NWC's Fort Chipewyan in 1821, all the women of the fort turned out to say goodbye. 'They were all dressed after the manner of the country in blue or green cloth— with their hair fresh greased— separated before and falling down behind not in careless tresses— but in a good sound tail— embellished with black tape and ribband.' 
HBC servants and officers could ask the company to purchase things for them in England. From 1790 to 1810, they ordered cloth of all kinds (e.g. calico, chintz), gartering, ribbons and lace, silk embroidery thread, shawls, shifts, earrings & brooches for their wives and sweethearts . They also requested ladies' magazines for the latest fashions. Cloth and clothing also shows up regularly on lists of trade goods. The cloth that was available included broadcloth, duffel, flannel, melton, and stroud, with red and blue being the most popular colors. For the HBC servant who had to pay for his wife's clothing, cloth was an economical choice, as it could be made up into strap dresses like those described by Thompson above. Melton cloth sleeves and leggings, mantlets (short gowns) of calico and calimanco, and shirts made from calico, gingham, and white and colored cotton all show up on North West Company trade good lists, and this ready-made clothing was available to the women. Women's hoods, moccasins, and petticoats were probably always made by the women themselves.
Women's hoods were apparently worn by country wives as well as Cree women. In December of 1800, Nor'wester Archibald N. McLeod noted in his journal that four Assiniboines were seen travelling with an unusual assortment of horses and goods which he feared had been taken from some other NWC employees. Among the suspicious items was '2 womens hoods garnished with Ribbons' . A woman's hood is worn by the wife of a HBC trader in a 1809 painting. In 1846, Paul Kane noted that Mrs. Lane, wife of an HBC trader, wore a hood .
Although capots (blanket coats) were imported to the fur country in good numbers, I haven't found anything to suggest that they were regularly worn by country wives. Instead, blankets were routinely used by women for protection from the weather. At first this seems surprising, but shawls and cloaks were routinely worn by European men and women during this time period. (For more on the wearing of blankets and capots by women, see the following article on capots in this volume of Northwest Journal.)
Country wives often accompanied their husbands on fur trade business, and their husbands' devotion to them could sometimes cause problems. In 1790, the guide for the HBC's expedition to the Athabasca country decided not to continue when his wife balked . NWC wintering partner Simon Fraser had a similar problem as he prepared to journey from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific in 1806. The voyageur La Malice refused to accompany him unless he was allowed to bring his woman, to which Fraser very reluctantly consented . A few days earlier, Fraser had sent three of his voyageurs 'to the other end of the Portage to remain there some time...' The next morning, the wife of one of those voyageurs decided she was not going to be left behind. '...although the ice was very bad, the Sauteau crossed when it was at the risk of her life to go after Bazile to the other end of the portage. She is more like a fury than a woman.' 
Sometimes women would take the initiative in a relationship. On December 31, 1800, 'Liard's daughter' moved into Alexander Henry the Younger's quarters 'and the devil could not get her out.' She left after a month, and Henry later married the daughter of 'the Buffaloe'.
When the Saulteurs (Ojibwa) 'made the grand medicine' in 1801, one of the new initiates was a country wife. It was said that the oldest men in the 'grand medicine' could demand any sexual favor from the newly initiated women.
Another country wife whose involvement both with sex and Native religion caused problems was Boisverd's wife, a Kootenay woman who married NWC voyageur Boisverd at Kootenae House around 1807. Boisverd's bourgeois, David Thompson, found her conduct so loose that he asked Boisverd to send her back. When she returned to the Kootenay, however, she claimed that her former husband had transformed her into a man and given her magical powers. She lived as a Native man for the rest of her life, and stirred up the lower Columbia by making apocalyptic prophecies.
Suggestions for Interpretive Activities
Two books, Sylvia Van Kirk's Many Tender Ties and Jennifer S. H. Brown's Strangers in Blood, have far more information on the role and daily life of fur trade women than could possibly be put into a single article ; I highly recommend them to anyone portraying a country wife.
Some historic interpretation activities for a woman portraying a country wife are :
1. Making a fire with flint & steel. Campfires were the responsibility of women, and flint & steel was a very common trade item.
2. Cooking bouilli. When voyageurs got fresh meat, it was usually cut into small pieces and boiled without spices. Bouilli is a slightly more elaborate version of that dish. Just toss into boiling water cubes of meat, potatoes (a fur post garden staple), some commonly available herbs such as salt, pepper, savory, and sage ; boil until tender or hungry, whichever comes first.
3. Making moccasins.
4. Simple hand sewing of clothes such as leggings, a woman's hood, or a petticoat.
5. Drying meat in the sun or next to the fire— the first step in making pemmican.
6. Pitching a tent or tipi. Most effective when done by several women and no men.
7. Reenact a fur trade wedding.
The following articles from past issues of Northwest Journal may be helpful :
'Making a Man's Shirt,' Vol. I, pp. 9-14.
'Making a Woman's Petticoat and Leggings,' Vol. IV, pp. 27-32.
Many female reenactors are reluctant to portray Mixed-blood and Native women, because they have no Native or Mixed-blood ancestry. This is unfortunate, because country wives were an important part of the fur trade. I try my best to portray them in a way that will honor their contributions.
Bourgeois- management-level employee of North West Company
Mixed-blood- descendants of Native mothers and European fur-trader fathers. Also called 'métis', 'bois brulées', 'brunettes', 'natives of Hudson's Bay', 'half-breeds.'
Officer- management-level employee of HBC
Petticoat- woman's skirt
Servant- non-management employee of HBC
Short gown- a woman's short jacket, usually cut in a single piece.
 Van Kirk, 38
 Van Kirk, 116
 Van Kirk, 109
 Van Kirk, 92-94
 Harmon, 53 ; italics Harmon's
 Henry the Younger, 1:228
 Harmon, 29
 Brown, Strangers, 79
 Brown, Strangers, 81-96
 Tyrrell, 125
 Tyrrell, 275
 Tyrrell, 327n
 Johnson, xcix-c
 Mackenzie, 220
 Gates, 22
 Mackenzie, 424
 Henry the Younger 2:582-3 ; see also Gates, 161
 Hood, 62 ; see also Gates, 165, 234, 237, 270 ; Henry the Younger 1:195, 210
 Henry the Younger 1:243
 Henry the Younger, 1:290
 Back, 63, 335 ; Franchère, 254
 Mackenzie, 133
 Thompson, 74 ; see also Henry the Younger 2:514-515 ; Hood, 72-73
 Henry the Younger 2:514-517, 532
 Tyrrell, 253
 Brown, 'Linguistic', 149
 Harmon, 29
 Cox, 210
 Back, 111
 Van Kirk, 82, 99-101
 Gates, 143
 Richards, c. 1809, A Man and his Wife returning with a load of Partridges from their Tent, in Van Kirk, 74 ; Newman, 73 ; Gilman, 86 ; G. Williams, 69
 Kane, 115
 Tyrrell, 335
 Fraser, 184-5
 Fraser, 180
 Henry the Younger, 1: 162-3, 169
 Henry the Younger, 1: 182
Back, Admiral Sir George. Arctic Artist : The Journal and Paintings of George Back, Midshipman with Franklin, 1819-1822. C. Stuart Houston, ed. Commentary by I. S. McLaren. McGill-Queen's University Press : Montreal, 1994. ISBN 0-7735-1181-4
Brown, Jennifer S. H. 'Linguistic Solitudes and Changing Social Categories', in Old Trails and New Directions : Papers of the Third North American Fur Trade Conference, pp. 147-159. Carol M. Judd and Arthur J. Ray, editors. University of Toronto Press : Toronto, 1978.
Brown, Jennifer S. H. Strangers in Blood : Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country. University of British Columbia : Vancouver, 1980. ISBN 0-7748-0125-5.
Cox, Ross. The Columbia River. Edgar I Stewart and Jane R. Stewart, editors. University of Oklahoma Press : Norman, Oklahoma, 1957.
Franchère, Gabriel. A Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America. Milo Milton Quaife (ed.) Lakeside Classics : Chicago, 1954.
Fraser, Simon. The Letters and Journals of Simon Fraser, 1806 - 1808. W. Kaye Lamb (ed.). Macmillan : Toronto, 1960.
Gates, Charles M. (ed.)_Five Fur Traders of the Northwest. Minnesota Historical Society : St. Paul, Minnesota, 1965.
Harmon, Daniel Williams. Sixteen Years in the Indian Country : The Journal of Daniel Williams Harmon, 1800-1816. W. Kaye Lamb (ed.) Macmillan : Toronto, 1957.
Henry, Alexander (the Younger). New Light on the Early History of the Northwest : The Manuscript Journals of Alexander Henry... Elliot Coues (ed.) Reprint– Ross & Haines : Minneapolis, 1965. Originally published 1897.
Hood, Robert. To the Arctic by Canoe, 1819-1821 : The Journal and Paintings of Robert Hood, Midshipman with Franklin. C. Stuart Houston, ed. Arctic Institute of North America & McGill-Queen's University Press : Montreal, 1974.
Johnson, Alice M. (ed.) Saskatchewan Journals and Correspondence : Edmonton House 1795-1800, Chesterfield House 1800-1802. Hudson's Bay Record Society : London, 1967.
Mackenzie, Alexander. The Journals and Letters of Sir Alexander Mackenzie. W. Kaye Lamb (ed.) Cambridge University Press : London, 1970. SBN 521-01034-9.
Rundle, Robert Terrill. The Rundle Journals: 1840-1848. Hugh Dempsey (ed.) Historical Society of Alberta : Calgary, 1977.
Thompson, David. David Thompson's Narrative, 1784-1812. Glover, Richard (ed.) Champlain Society : Toronto, 1962.
Tyrrell, J. B. (ed.) Journals of Samuel Hearne and Philip Turnor. Reprint– Greenwood Press : New York, 1968. Originally published 1934.
Van Kirk, Sylvia. Many Tender Ties : Women in Fur-Trade Society, 1670-1870. Watson & Dwyer : Winnipeg, 1980. ISBN 0-920486-06-1
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