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The Coureur de Bois and the Indian
The Coureur de Bois and the Indian
Resource Typeimage
TitleThe Coureur de Bois and the Indian
Coverage / Yearc. 1890
DescriptionA fur trader stands by a birch bark canoe and shakes the hand of an Indian. A second fur trader is seated in the canoe.
InterpretationThe fur trade in America began with European settlement in the seventeenth century and extended well into the nineteenth century, by which time agricultural developments and the depletion of many of the fur-bearing animals made it less profitable. The coureurs de bois (literally woods runners) were independent traders who knew the woods well and dealt directly with the Indians. During the French Colonial period, the coureurs de bois operated in the upper Mississippi valley, extending their reach into the American bottom, an area stretching almost one hundred miles south from the point where the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi. The French government tried to control the activities of the coureurs de bois, and put many restrictions on them, trying to compel the Indians to bring their pelts directly to government-sanctioned trading posts. This scene is from a drawing, probably from around 1890. By this time, most of the Indians who had lived in Illinois had long since been forced to leave. The Black Hawk War of 1832 was a turning point in the declining fur trade and the Indian removal from Illinois.
Lesson Plans / ThemesFrench in Illinois; Westward Expansion; Native American Stories; Illustrated Timeline of Illinois Settlement
Learning Standards16 History; 14 Political systems; 15 Economics; 17 Geography; 18 Social systems;
Author or CreatorIllinois Heritage Association
Other ContributorsIllinois State Historical Library
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Sourceoriginal drawing, possibly printed in a contemporary magazine, such as Harper's Weekly
Subject / Keywordsfur trade; Indians of North America; Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909;
Collection PublisherIllinois Heritage Association
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierIHA00047
CONTENTdm file name54.jpg
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