Chouart des Groseilliers
A brave adventurer
was born in France, but came to New france to work in 1642. He began
to work for the Jesuit priests at their mission
close to Georgian Bay. He later became a coureur de bois. He went
in search of new sources of fur. His first accomplishment was
his expedition through the wilderness that ended at the Great Lakes.
There he met Huron peoples and he was able establish a trading partnership
set off again in 1659 with his brother-in-law Pierre
Esprit Radisson. They had thought of a plan that would make
getting furs from the north easier. They proposed a route through
the Hudson Strait and then south into Hudson Bay. They would
persuade the First
Nations peoples to bring furs down the waterways draining into
Hudson Bay. (This is the route that was later used by Hudson's
to Quebec the following year with over 100 canoes loaded with fur.
Des Groseilliers was fined and put in jail for failing to get a
license. He went to France to protest, but did not receive the
justice he thought he deserved.
In 1665 Radisson
and Des Groseilliers went to London, England to visit King
Charles II. Radisson and Des Groseilliers arrived at the
meeting dressed up as First Nation fur traders. They told exaggerated
stories of life in the wilderness and the fur trade. While the King
did not believe everything they told him, he was interested. Prince
Rupert convinced him to support an expedition.
went well enough that the King agreed to grant Hudson's Bay
Company a charter.
Radisson and Des Groseilliers continue with the company until 1674,
when they switched back to the French side.
French authorities confiscated his ships and 25% of his furs - again.
Too old and tired to fight back, Des Groseilliers retired.
do you think Groseillier's most important accomplishment was?
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