Peter Brook III
Research Paper 1
American Fur Trade and John Jacob Astor
The United States of America is a very new country in the world when the fur trade was discovered. The fur trade was initially started by the Indians who would trade with English merchants. They would trade hides for such things as weaponry and advanced tools. Due to the qualities in the furs themselves you can start to see a market value rise for certain pelts. The beaver fur was the highest sought after because of its durability and its water resistant capabilities. With the fur trade ever increasing the French looked to establish a location in which to trade. They chose the eastern portion of Canada and to gain credibility with the Indians they offered them trade items just to begin the long lasting circle of trust between the two parties (Powell County Museum). We would see much of the same trading take place until the migration westward and the birth of our great nation.
The American fur trade began before the revolution and was very prominent throughout our early years as a country. As stated by Peter McMillan “The future of North America depended on the flashing paddle and the beaver trap as much as it did on muskets and bayonets”. Furs gave us a sense of value, where people could take the furs they had and trade them for better items, or items for survivability. With a basic knowledge or understanding people who had no particular set of skills could become a trapper and earn a decent salary or more money than the average fishermen; a lot of people left jobs so that they coud have a shot at a small fortune. This new found freedom and source of revenue brought forth a lot of interest from people abroad looking to migrate to America. Once the Treaty of Paris was signed people were allowed to cross the channel. This allowed for America to bring bright new ideas to this brand new world.
One person who greatly appreciated the Treaty of Paris was none...
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