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FSU AMH 3444 - Hudson Bay Company

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Hudson Bay Company - The first people to explore the land from the Louisiana purchase were fur traders- The British and French were the first few countries to conduct fur trading in American- They both used the Hudson Bay Company and would buy furs from Indians and then shipthem out of the Hudson Bay- 10 months out of the years the Hudson Bay Company would buy furs and the other 2 months of the year would be all about shipping- The Indians would do all the dirty work to get the fur, and then would trade them for French or British goods- The Hudson Bay Company would have contracts for people that would last 7 years- Each station was had only one person working at these stations and were usually orphans from different places- The French also implemented the Northwest Company in 1784, they would go into placesthat the Hudson Bay Company wouldn’t and would use trappers that were French Canadian and they would do all the trapping for the company along with the Indians- The management of the Northwest company was not very good and soon was bought out by the Hudson Bay Company- The Hudson Bay Company now owned all the land they had and so they send out people to explore the new land- One of these agents was John McLoughlin, and he was sent to Oregon to explore this new land, and at this time Lewis and Clarke had set up a base there for America and so hejust went there with some trappers that were already there- John J, Astor, was a musician and read different books from these explores of the time and he decided to start a fur trade with Sea Otter fur to China- If you could get Otter Fur to China it would allow America whole new trade, goods, and supplies - He opens the American Trade Company, he send a group to Oregon to get Sea Otter fur and they land there and set up a post and name it Astoria- During this time it was not good time for fur trading, because at this time the war of 1812happens , and the Hudson Bay Company attack Astoria and make them pay $80,000 and say this is their land and fur trade- Astor is not a person to quit, so he moves his business to St. Louis , Missouri and this is the first company to have a business headquarters out west - He also hires French Canadian fur trappers, and they knew all the best land for fur and healso built a steamboat that could travel up river to get his fur- Astor cut out the middle man and didn’t have to pay for trade good for the Indians, they made most of their money on Bear and Buffalo furs- He took all the money he made and put it into the land around St. Louis and started to buy up all the land- After the war of 1812, beaver skin hats were the thing that everyone needed, so fur trade in the west started to turn to this - Depending on the fashion of the time and what trade goods were available at the time, there were different furs being traded- A new company comes about during this time, The Rocky Mountain Fur Company, they sent their tappers to the Rocky Mountains to get furs- The founders were William Ashby and Andrew Henry, William would handle the money aspect of the company and Andrew would handle the day to day business- If you wanted to work for the company you could sign a contract and would sign a 1 yeardeal for $400 and would have to trap all season and bring in all the fur to the company- The men that worked for this company wanted to get away from the city and wanted to live free from the big cities, some of them even integrated into different Indian tribes - Two of the most famous mountain men were Jedediah Smith, and Jim Bridger these werethe men stories were written about- Another man was Hue Glass, he bounced from company to company and whatever paid the most, the first time he worked for the fur company his throat was ripped out by a bear,he survived and crawled back to civilization- Jedediah was raised in New York City and went out west to raise money, to set up aid forthe needy in New York City- He had been out west for many years, he blazed the first wagon trials to the west, his ear was ripped off by a grizzle bear, but sewed it back on, later he was killed in 1831 by Comanches - Jim Bridger he began as a mountain men, then he changed his mind and wanted to make profit off the mountain men, and so he set up post that trappers could get goods and stuff they needed for the fur season- During this time he trapped and worked with trappers, he was also one of the first people to see the salt lakes, he also worked with the LDS move out to the salt lakes- He was married to three different Indian women, he moved away from the mountains to Missouri for his children and so they could get an education- During this time the beaver was almost hunted to extinction, this was because they trappers were so good, during this time 21,000 furs were sent out just on one ship- The Mountain Men put themselves out of business because they trap so well and so they become wagon drivers and guides to move people out west- Rendezvous were set up by fur trading companies, and were places where wagon trains were sent to collect fur, pay the men, bring supplies and goods, and other things that could be sold to the trappers- All the mountain men would come into the small spots and get whatever they needed and their pay and then would go back to trapping at the end of the week- The Mountain men mostly lived in the Indian groups around the land and allowed for American to get used to and learn about the Indians- The fur trading outpost along the Missouri River or along the Rocky Mountains, started to change from fur trading post to small town and then bigger one after


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