Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another collection of voyageur contracts

Another collection of voyageurs contracts is found in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, in the Yale Collection of Western Americana -- WA Mss S-2357, Davies/Scroggie Collection of Voyageur Contracts.
A listing of the contracts is found online, under "Davies Scroggie Collection of Voyageur Contracts," and I think you will find it if you google that name.
Otherwise its address is at
You can print off the 38 pages of this document and see what is in the collection; then presumably you can visit the rare book room to look at the originals.
The information tells me that the Collection consists of 120 printed contracts between Canadian voyageurs and their outfitters, dating from 1801 to 1821.
The person who put this list together was Alfred Van Peteghem, who collaborated on the book, The Development of the Voyageur Contract, 1686-1821, published by Lawrence Lane Foundation for Canadian Historical Research in 1989 -- (I guess this book is another resource for you, too -- I haven't seen it.)

In this list of voyageur contracts I found:

Voyageur Alexis Courchene, resident of Chenail du Nord
He signed up at Chenail du Nord on the 5th July 1803, heading toward Rainy Lake and Fort Kaministiguia (Lake Superior's North shore).
He worked for McTavish, Frobisher & Co. and Joseph Faniant signed the document as agent of the NWCo.

There are no Beaulieus and no Rondeaus on this list, and for the most part the contracts are too late to be of interest to us -- but there are a lot of familiar names here.
Hope you find one of your family members.

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