In The Story of the Trapper there is presented for the general reader a vivid picture of an adventurous figure, which is painted with a singleness of purpose and a distinctness impossible of realization in the large and detailed histories of the American fur trade and the Hudson's Bay and North-West companies, or the various special relations and journals and narratives. The author's wilderness lore and her knowledge of the life, added to her acquaintance with its literature, have borne fruit in a personification of the Western and Northern trappers who live in her pages. It is the man whom we follow not merely in the evolution of the Western fur traffic, but also in the course of his strange life in the wilds, his adventures, and the contest of his craft against the cunning of his quarry.
atives of the Pacific coast. Captain Vancouver's report of the north-west coast was corroborated by Captain Grey, who had stumbled into the mouth of the Columbia; and before 1800 nearly thirty Boston vessels yearly sailed to the Northern Pacific for the fur trade.
Eager to forestall the Hudson's Bay Company, now beginning to rub its eyes and send explorers westward to bring Indians down to the bay, Alexander MacKenzie of the Nor' Westers pushed down the great river named after him, and forced his way across the northern Rockies to the Pacific. Flotillas of North-West canoes quickly followed MacKenzie's lead north to the arctics, south-west down the Columbia. At Michilimackinac--one of the most lawless and roaring of the fur posts--was an association known as the Mackinaw Company, made up of old French hunters under English management, trading westward from the Lakes to the Mississippi. Hudson Bay, Nor' Wester, and Mackinaw were daily pressing closer and closer to that vast unoccupied Eldorado--th
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