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Week Six: Early Fur Trade

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Sketch of Ft. Taylor, at the mouth of the Tukannon on the Snake River
by Gustavus Sohon. National Archives.


This week we turn to the fur trade and its importance in the exploration and establishment of the Northwest region.

Professor Fritz’s lectures (47 minutes) focus on the central figures and key aspects of the fur trade, and the ways in which it affected the Northwest, North America, and Europe.

This week’s Maps section features two maps created by fur traders, a map illustrating the Astorian’s route, and a compiled overview of fur trade forts located across the west during the fur trade era.

In Tribal Perspectives we’ve selected video footage from interviews with members of the Couer d’Alene, Kalispel, and Blackfeet-Pikuni tribes, telling stories of the fur trade from their vantage points.

The People section this week highlights Marie Dorian, the wife of an interpreter for the Astorians who traveled with her husband and the Astorians across the western interior. The Art and Literature section features several literary excerpts and a song recording, which together present the subtle complexities involving communication at this time.

The Research page includes an annotated list of websites devoted to the overland fur trade, leading you to information about primary and secondary source documents, timelines, and the fur trade history.



Lecture Maps People Research Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 4 Unit 5