Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country / Edition 1

Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country / Edition 1

by Jennifer S. H. Brown
     
 

ISBN-10: 0806128135

ISBN-13: 9780806128139

Pub. Date: 02/28/1996

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press


"A long-needed comparative analysis of...the officer class of the Hudson's Bay and North West companies before and after their merger in 1821...Essential reading for all serious scholars of the fur trade."-Ethnohistory

"The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding not only of the fur trade but also to anthropology and Indian-white relations."

…  See more details below

Overview


"A long-needed comparative analysis of...the officer class of the Hudson's Bay and North West companies before and after their merger in 1821...Essential reading for all serious scholars of the fur trade."-Ethnohistory

"The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding not only of the fur trade but also to anthropology and Indian-white relations." -Pacific Historical Review

For two centuries (1670-1870), English, Scottish, and Canadian fur traders voyaged the myriad waterways of Rupert's Land, the vast territory charted to the Hudson's Bay Company and later splintered among five Canadian provinces and four American states. The knowledge and support of northern Native peoples were critical to the newcomer's survival and success. With acquaintance and alliance came intermarriage, and the unions of European traders and Native women generated thousands of descendants.

Jennifer Brown's Strangers in Blood is the first work to look systematically at these parents and their children. Brown focuses on Hudson's Bay Company officers and North West Company wintering partners and clerks-those whose relationships are best known from post journals, correspondence, accounts, and wills. The durability of such families varied greatly. Settlers, missionaries, European women, and sometimes the courts challenged fur trade marriages. Some officers' Scottish and Canadian relatives dismissed Native wives and "Indian" progeny as illegitimate. Traders who took these ties seriously were obliged to defend them, to leave wills recognizing their wives and children, and to secure their legal and social status-to prove that they were kin, not "strangers in blood."

Brown illustrates that the lives and identities of these children were shaped by factors far more complex than "blood." Sons and daughters diverged along paths affected by gender. Some descendants became Métis and espoused Métis nationhood under Louis Riel. Others rejected or were never offered that course-they passed into white or Indian communities or, in some instances, identified themselves (without prejudice) as "half breeds." The fur trade did not coalesce into a single society. Rather, like Rupert's Land, it splintered, and the historical consequences have been with us ever since.

Jennifer S.H. Brown is a Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg. She is coauthor of The Orders of the Dreamed: George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Myth, 1823, and coeditor of The New Peoples: Being and Becoming Métis in North America.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806128139
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Edition description:
Oklahoma paperbacks ed
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
1The Backgrounds and Antecedents of the British Traders1
2Company Men with a Difference: The London and Montreal Britishers23
3Company Men and Native Women in Hudson Bay51
4North West Company Men and Native Women81
5Gentlemen of 1821: New Directions in Fur Trade Social Life111
6Different of Loyalties: Sexual and Marital Relationships of Company Officers after 1821131
7Fur Trade Parents and Children before 1821153
8Patterns and Problems of "Placing": Company Offspring in Britain and Canada after 1821177
9Fur Trade Sons and Daughters in a New Company Context199
References221
Index239

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >