The fur trade
was brought back to life with the help of two French coureurs
de bois : Médard Chouart des Groseilliers and
Pierre Radisson. The two partners traveled far inland in search
of furs. They met people from the Sioux
nation who told them about the great supply of beaver in the north
near Hudson Bay. When they returned to the colony, they had almost
100 canoes overflowing with furs. They did not, however,
receive the warm welcome they expected.
and Radisson had not gotten a license to trade fur before they began
their adventure. The furs were taken away, Des Groseilliers was
put in jail and both were given fines for breaking the law.
The two became very annoyed. They decided to work for the English
instead of the French.
had heard of the two brave explorers. In 1665 they were invited
to England to meet King Charles II. The King agreed to support their
quest for furs. After three years of preparation, they were ready
to begin. Des Groseilliers set sail in his ship the Nonsuch
and Radisson left in his ship the Eaglet. Radisson's
ship was forced to return to England because of the fierce storms.
Nonsuch may not have made a large profit on its voyage
- but made enough to convince people to invest money. They knew
that if Des Groseilliers could get as much fur as he did from
Aboriginals who were not expecting him, future profits could
landed on the banks of James Bay in 1668. The ship's crew had to
build a fort to store the furs and for shelter from the winter and
from their enemies. In the spring of 1669, they returned to England
with the fur they had collected.
Médard Chouart des
Coureurs de bois
did Radisson and Groseiliers decide to work for the English?
Bonus: What effect do you think
this had on the French fur trade?
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