Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fur Trade Books

Now that we are on this subject, let us talk about books.
There are many books about the fur trade worth having, and some that you must have if you want to write about the fur trade.
Harold A. Innis' book, "The Fur Trade in Canada; an introduction to Canadian Economic History," University of Toronto Press, 1930, is an essential.
But like most books it does not address the fur trade west of the mountains, in modern day British Columbia.
The only book that does that is Richard Somerset Mackie's "Trading Beyond the Mountains; the British Fur Trade on the Pacific, 1793-1843," UBC Press, 1997.
Every time Mackie speaks, readers ask him to write a second book that covers the years after 1843; little do they know how many years it would take to write that second book.
But in a way, my biography of A.C. Anderson does tell people what took place after 1843.
He lived through those years and most of his important work was done after 1843.

If you want to learn more about the brigade trails before 1843, read James R. Gibson's "The Lifeline of the Oregon Country; The Fraser-Columbia brigade system, 1811-47," UBC Press, 1997.
This book also has plenty of information about the old brigade trail over the Thompson plateau, but nothing about the new brigade trail that Anderson travelled over.
If you want to learn more about the early fur trade in French Canada, find an old copy of David Lavender's "Winner Take All; the Trans-Canada Canoe Trail," McGraw-Hill, 1977.
If you want to learn more about your voyageur ancestors, read Carolyn Podruchny's "Making the Voyageur World; Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade," U of Toronto Press, 2006.
This is a short list; there's plenty of other books to read.

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