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North of Athabasca: Slave Lake and Mackenzie River Documents of the North West Company, 1800-1821

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Montreal 2001 hardcover New in New jacket 23cm, 552p, "includes the extensively annotated texts of eleven North West Company documents but Keith's introductory essay amplifies ... what is known about the context of the fur trade. His biographical notes provide personal details about the proprietors and clerks involved in the fur trade as well as the engag?s and aboriginal trading leaders. A sketch of the trading activities of every Native mentioned in the journals is included." Read more Show Less

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Overview

Using unused or little-known documents, Keith fills in gaps and corrects inconsistencies in previous information about the company. North of Athabasca not only includes the extensively annotated texts of eleven North West Company documents but Keith's introductory essay amplifies what is known about the context of the fur trade. His biographical notes provide personal details about the proprietors and clerks involved in the fur trade as well as the engagés and aboriginal trading leaders. A sketch of the trading activities of every Native mentioned in the journals is included. Engagés are shown to be more than labouring drones - Keith demonstrates that men such as Jean-Baptiste LaPrise were as important in furthering the interests of the North West Company north of Athabasca as any of the clerks or proprietors who kept the accounts and wrote the journals included here. The journals, often in fractured English or colloquial Canadian French, and incorporating aboriginal terminology, make intriguing reading. A glossary is provided to assist with some of the more arcane terms. North of Athabasca fills an important void in the literature on this period and region. Readers interested in fur trade history as well as students of exploration, genealogy, ethnography, and Native studies will find this a welcome addition to the literature on a fascinating topic.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Provides the first detailed, document-based history of the fur trading North West Company in the Slave Lake and Mackenzie River Districts. Contains annotated texts of 11 North West Company documents as well as biographical notes about the proprietors, clerks, engag<'e>s, and aboriginal leaders who were involved in the fur trade. A sketch of the trading activities of every native mentioned in the journals is included. A glossary of the more arcane terms from the Company's journals, which incorporated aboriginal terminology and was often written in fractured English or colloquial Canadian French, is also provided. Keith is affiliated with Shoreline Community College. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773520981
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Rupert's Land Record Society Series
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Tables and Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 Overview 1
Historical Background 3
The Distant Past 3
The Recent Past 6
The North West Company 9
Slave Lake District, 1786-99 13
Mackenzie River District, 1795-1800 14
James Porter's Journal, 1800-1 18
John Thomson's Journal, 1800-1 22
Arrival of Opposition in Athabasca, 1800-4 26
Early Journals of W. F. Wentzel, 1802-5 31
Alexander McKenzie's Journal, 1805-6 37
Alexander Henry Jr's Journal, 1806 41
George Keith's Journals, 1805-7 43
W. F. Wentzel's Journals, 1805-08 53
Declining Returns from the Mackenzie, 1807-15 57
Roderic McKenzie Correspondence, 1807-24 58
Aftermath, 1816-21 66
Wentzel's "Account of Mackenzies River with a Chart," 1821 70
Conclusions 76
Pt. 2 North West Company Documents 81
James Porter's Slave Lake Journal of 1800-1 83
John Thomson's Journal of 1800-1 126
W. F. Wentzel's Journals of 1802 and 1804-5 157
Alexander McKenzie's Journal of 1805-6 207
Alexander Henry, Jr's Journal of 1806 252
George Keith's Journals of 1805-6 and 1806-7 259
W. F. Wentzel's Journals and "Account of Mackenzies River," 1805-21 288
Biographical Notes, Mackenzie River and Slave Lake Districts, 1795-1821 365
Glossary 451
Notes 457
Bibliography 479
Index 489
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