Visit these sites to get an in-depth look at the fur trade and its role in the history of North America.
The Mountain Men: Pathfinders of the West offers an overiew of the fur trade in the early United States, pointing out the differences between the Rocky Mountain trade and the Upper Missouri system. This site is from the University of Virginia’s American Studies Program.
The History of Minnesota's Lake Superior, from the Minnesota Historical Society, looks at early native settlement, European exploration and the fur trade in the Lake Superior region.
The White Oak Society provides living history interpretations of the fur trade era within the Great Lakes region. Visit their online learning center to virtually meet a voyageur, an English gentleman, and a metis cook. You also can learn a French word or see a beaver hat or a birchbark canoe.
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site includes extensive information on the Rocky Mountain trade, including details about beaver hats, the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies, and the role of the trading post. This Canadian site is also available in French.
Visit the Natural Wonders and Cultural Treasures section of the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site of Canada for information about the voyageurs, women’s roles in the fur trade, and a picture gallery with images of native and European traders. Also available in French.
Exploration, the Fur Trade and Hudson’s Bay Company presents a detailed picture of the fur trade and how it led to the exploration of Canada. Included are maps, pictures of beaver hats, and many other illustrations. This Canadian site is written for students ages nine and older, and includes teaching suggestions and lesson plans. Also available in French.
The Fur Trade in New France: Les Coureurs des Bois is a detailed history of the French role in the fur trade in the 1600s. Created by the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s Virtual Museum of New France, it includes maps, a timeline, and biographies of some early French explorers. The Fur Trade in New France: Voyageurs and Hired Men tells the story of the fur trade after 1700.
The Hudson's Bay Company Digital Collection has images and descriptions of artifacts such as personal gear, trade goods, equipment, and currency that were used in the fur trade. This site from the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature is available in French as well as English.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site was the administrative headquarters and main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading operations in the Pacific northwest. The History and Culture section of this site from the National Park Service offers a history with several illustrations.
Voyageurs National Park provides an in-depth history of the fur trade in what is now northern Minnesota. The article “Special History: The Environment and the Fur Trade Experience in Voyageurs National Park: 1730-1870” includes maps of voyageur routes and historic paintings.
The Lewis and Clark Journey of Discovery, from the National Park Service, tells how fur traders from the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company influenced exploration of the country in the early 1800s.
In Pursuit of Adventure: The Fur Trade in Canada and the North West Company offers a history of the fur trade and the North West Company. The McGill University site also features maps and a chronology.
The Whitman Mission National Historic Site features a history titled “The Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson's Bay Company.”
The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade Virtual Museum shows pictures of a recreation of a trappers camp and typical trade goods from the fur trade era.
Last updated 4/21/2011