Fur trading and frontier life in French Canada. As frontiers typically are, the story of the French Canadian wilderness has been a gendered one since its earliest iterations. If it ever existed in reality, this straightforward, masculine escape was complicated by complex alliances with matrilineal aboriginals and state-sponsored waves of immigration that brought radical women, authoritarian clergy, cloistered nuns, swashbuckling soldiers, skilled artisans, and eventually French nobility into the fold of frontier life. This week, we will attempt to uncover the lived experiences of men and women on the French Canadian frontier and think about how the trade in furs shaped their lives in interesting and very gendered ways.

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Transcript for Fur Trading and Frontier Life in French Canada

Written and Researched by Marissa Rhodes

Produced by Marissa Rhodes and Elizabeth Garner Masarik

Marissa: There is no more quintessential “frontier” than the Pays d’en Haute of New France in the 17th and 18th centuries. Unlike British colonists, who quickly developed farmsteads and populous towns along the eastern seaboard, French Canadians lived frontier lifestyles in great numbers and for successive generations in the much less tamed French Acadia (surrounding the Gulf of St. Lawrence), the Laurentian Valley (on either side of the St. Lawrence river), and the Pays d’en Haute (wilderness surrounding the Great Lakes). One French traveler in the 1750s marveled at the adaptability of French male colonists, “they alone can go in canoes in summer, on snowshoes in winter, subsist on bit of flour, lard and suet, make forced marches through the woods for three to six months at a time, withstanding the rigours of winter, living from the mouth of their musket, that is to say by hunting and fishing alone.”[1] But he was wrong about one thing. French Canadian men were not “alone”. They negotiated alliances with indigenous tribes who guided them on ancient footpaths through the thick Canadian wilderness. They often had wives, in addition to indigenous women companions and their kin.

Elizabeth: The First Nations, particularly the Huron-Wendat (episode plug!), Algonquin, and Innu, were crucial to French colonists’ initial survival and continued success in the colony. Over the course of the 1600s, these tribes taught French colonists to process animal skins. They also built vast trade networks across the St. Lawrence river, over the Great Lakes, up into French Acadia and back across the Atlantic Ocean to the Bordeaux region of France. In the 1700s, these trade networks expanded around the Great Lakes, through the Mississippi River valley and down to French Louisiana. In return for their instruction and guidance, the French gave their indigenous allies European commercial goods which they used ceremoniously and as social capital within tribal alliances.

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Marissa: The French Empire’s most valuable asset was, by far, the trade in furs: beaver, moose, deer, bear and wolf, as well as marine pelts such as seal captured off the cold northern Labrador coast. It was the increasing scarcity of beaver that compelled French troops and their Algonquin allies to fight for decades against the Iroquois and Dutch in a series of intermittent conflicts that came to be known as the Beaver Wars. Still, the pull of the Canadian frontier went far beyond desire for riches. An early historian of the frontier wrote, “The attraction of the fur trade for so many inhabitants is not easily explained… Perhaps the complete independence which a man found in the forest, not to mention the charms of willing Indian girls, was compensation enough for many discomforts. Canadians… were men of broad horizons… were a wife to nag too constantly, some of them at least could hire out as voyageurs for the west.”[2] As frontiers typically are, the story of the French Canadian wilderness has been a gendered one since its earliest iterations. If it ever existed in reality, this straightforward, masculine escape was complicated by complex alliances with matrilineal aboriginals and state-sponsored waves of immigration that brought radical women, authoritarian clergy, cloistered nuns, swashbuckling soldiers, skilled artisans, and eventually French nobility into the fold of frontier life. This week, we will attempt to uncover the lived experiences of men and women on the French Canadian frontier and think about how the trade in furs shaped their lives in interesting and very gendered ways.

I’m Marissa.

I’m Elizabeth.

And we are your historians for this episode of Dig.

Marissa: The Canadian part of New France was incredibly slow to start. Huguenots (French Protestants) and French Catholics first attempted to start settlements in Canada in the 1500s. Their journeys and initial set up were subsidized by the French Crown but they were expected to be self-sufficient after this initial expense. The Huguenots were looking for a refuge from Catholic hostility and Catholic authorities were looking to evangelize in the New World. None of these initial settlements survived. All colonization initiatives were halted during the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). For those of you who need to brush up on your early modern European history, this was a civil war between Huguenots and Catholics which plunged the French kingdom into chaos and resulted in the deaths of 4 million people.

The Wars of Religion subsided with the accession of Henri IV to the French throne. Henri IV was baptised a Catholic but raised as a Protestant. He controversially issued the Edict of Nantes in 1598 which guaranteed religious liberty to Huguenots. Henri IV oversaw a reinvigorated effort to settle the Canadian wilderness. Instead of financing the efforts directly, Henri IV granted land and monopoly rights to proprietors who, in turn, financed colonization efforts out of the proceeds. Using this model, the French established the colony of Port Royale in 1604 and Québec in 1608. Port Royale eventually failed and devolved into a trading post with a population of 20 men. Québec succeeded and, obviously, still exists today but it grew very slowly. Henri IV was assassinated in 1610 by a radical Catholic and he was succeeded by Louis XIII who, initially, maintained the status quo. By 1627, Quebec had only 84 inhabitants. The Crown set very low emigration quotas and, in the absence of consequences for not meeting them, proprietors slacked at recruiting colonists.

an engraving of a beaver

“Beavers at Work in the Spring,” Hunting and Trapping Stories, 1903 | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth: Louis XIII’s chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, revoked Québec’s charter in 1627 and restructured the country’s colonization efforts. He created the Company of a Hundred Associates (Compagnie des Cent-Associés) and granted it a permanent monopoly on the fur trade and 15-year monopolies on all other trades (except fisheries). In return, the Company would transport 4,000 indentured servants to New France. Colonists were required to be Catholic and French by birth. This put a real damper on settlement initiatives. British colonists were largely religious dissidents or other marginal peoples who left Britain out of discontent. French religious dissidents, the people who perhaps had the most to gain from emigration, were prohibited from settling permanently in New France. Recruitment was obstructed even further by jurisdictional disputes among the men of the Company of a Hundred Associates who had begun sub-contracting out portions of their monopolies across New France. Recruitment remained a low priority.

In 1645, the Company conceded their monopoly to a conglomerate called the Community of the Inhabitants (Communauté des Habitants) which comprised all males who resided permanently in French Canada. Under this arrangement, colonists themselves would receive income from the monopolies and, in turn, recruit more colonists. They did no better than the Company had done before them. They made very little income and failed to meet their recruitment quotas. They just did not have the infrastructures and financial support they needed to enforce their monopolies and solicit newcomers. They experimented with several different strategies to keep the colonial enterprise afloat including renting our trading posts, all to no avail. Making matters even more dire, the British were constantly interfering, occupying several French Canadian towns at any given time during the second half of the 17th century.

Marissa: King Louis XIV and his advisor Jean-Baptiste Colbert brought the failing enterprise underneath the direct jurisdiction of the French Crown in the 1660s. In front of the Parlement in Paris, Colbert berated the failed Company, arguing that it neglected its promise to recruit inhabitants and generate revenue for the Crown. In 1663 there were only 3,500 colonists in all of New France (this included all of Canada, the Mississippi Valley, Louisiana and the Caribbean) while nearly 90,0000 British colonists had settled in the 13 colonies alone. Louis XIV decided to subsidize colonial recruitment efforts, financing the transportation of 4,000 settlers in the following decade. Half of these were male indentured servants, a quarter were soldiers. Other state-sponsored emigrants to French Canada included prisoners, military personnel, church personnel, and marriageable women.

Elizabeth: Still, the settlements in New France remained small, sparse, and slow-growing. This was, in part, due to skewed sex ratios, fewer families, and therefore fewer offspring and natural increase. The British colonies relied on farming so entire families settled in New England and the Chesapeake to build and work farmsteads. These families grew, intermarried, and birthed new generations of Anglo-Americans. New France’s major source of income was fur trapping which attracted bachelors rather than families. French soldiers regarded their time in French Canada as temporary, like any other military assignment, so they seldom invested in families. Catholic missionaries, another important demographic, also tended to be men, particularly men who were not procreating. Of the 790 clergy who resided in New France, only 58 of them were women. Keep in mind, none of these women were procreating either because they were all women who had taken orders in the Catholic Church. They were brides of Christ. For most of the 1600s, there were very few women in French Canada who were having children.

Marissa: King Louis XIV attempted to remedy the dearth of marriageable women by sending flotillas of eligible young ladies called Filles du Roi or “King’s Daughters” to New France. These women agreed to emigrate to French Canada on the condition that the state would pay their dowries. They were allowed to choose their own husbands, which was more than could be said for aristocratic French women in the metropole. They entered through the gulf of St. Lawrence and traveled down the St. Lawrence river, stopping at villages and outposts, mingling with the single French men, and then deciding whether they wanted to settle down with someone there or move down the river to the next settlement. (This kind of reminds me of the orphan trains that traveled across the US in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.) More than 900 filles du roi were sent to French Canada between 1663 and 1673. Two-thirds of French Canadians today are confirmed descendents of the Filles du Roi.

A painting depicting several filles du roi arriving in French Canada

Jean Talon and Francois de Montmorency-Laval welcome several filles du roi to French Canada. Arrival of the Brides, Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth: Though there were fewer of them, married French Canadian women, the Filles du Roi included, were remarkably fecund. The French Crown encouraged higher birth rates within the dominion by offering an annual pension of 300 livres to any family who birthed more than 10 children. Though they were all eligible for the same reward, French Canadian women were considerably more likely to achieve this target than were other French women. Historians initially attributed high birth rates in French Canada to Catholic pronatalism and to much earlier marriages. It is true that 47% of women in French Canada married as teenagers compared to 33% of women in rural France. If women get married younger, they are more likely to have more children because they are (presumably) having sexual intercourse for a larger portion of their childbearing years.

But even if we take younger marriage age into account, French Canadian women were having more children than rural women in France who married at the same age. Here are the stats: Women in French Canada who married as teenagers could be expected to bear an average of 12 children compared to an average of 8 children among women who married as teenagers in rural France. Even French Canadian women who married in their late 20s averaged 7 children while their rural French counterparts averaged 5 children. French Canadian women had more babies, more often, and for longer than rural French women. (Maybe there just isn’t as much to do on the frontier????) Historical demographers have since discovered that French Canadian women conceived more readily and entered menopause later than women in rural France because they consumed more nutrient dense food in higher quantities than women in France where famine and malnutrition were widespread.

Marissa: Though the story of the Filles du Roi sounds like some bizarre, medieval marriage deal, these women’s lives in French Canada were often better than those they could have expected in France. Many of them came from impoverished aristocratic families who were unable to provide them with dowries. Many of them were impoverished or orphaned. Half of them were recruited from the Hôpital Général in Paris. The Hôpital Général was NOT a hospital but rather a poorhouse built by a French Catholic secret society called Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement (Company of the Blessed Sacrament in English). The female annex within the poorhouse was called the Salpêtrière. This institution housed as many as 3,000 women and girls who suffered from abandonment, poverty, illness, “insanity” and other disabilities that made them burdens on Parisian society. There were, however, moral guidelines for admission. Prostitutes (or what we now call sex workers), and “loose women” were refused admission. (Don’t worry, a horrific prison called La Force was built for them in 1681).

Salpêtrière was used by wealthy families with several daughters who were clamoring to send their “excess” daughters instead of to convents. Wealthy families in Catholic Europe typically paid dowries for their eldest daughters to marry, sometimes a second daughter as well, but they often declined to do so for subsequent daughters. These daughters were sent to convents to become nuns. The only other alternative was for their parents to support them as spinsters for the rest of their lives or for these women to marry working class men who would not expect a dowry… heaven forbid… As this practice became more common, convents began to demand dowries from a woman’s parents in exchange for taking her into their order. Always looking to save a dime, aristocratic and middling families sought an alternative for their “extra” daughters. Enter: Salpêtrière. These daughters of wealthy Parisians were referred to, by the poorhouse administration, as “bijoux” or “jewels” because they were more refined and desirable than the other inmates. Salpêtrière provided Filles du Roi for six waves of emigration to French Canada in the 1660s and 1670s. The French West India Company also sent Filles du Roi to Martinique in the Caribbean in the 1680s.

Elizabeth: Still, the dearth of marriageable French women in Canada continued to be a problem. Frenchmen turned, instead, to indigenous women as they searched for companionship, marriage, and families. Indigenous women are these exotic figures in histories of British North America. This is because British settlers tended to group together near the coastline and they generally maintained a strict separation between themselves and indigenous societies. But in New France, indigenous women often shared their lives with French Canadian men. Aboriginal tribes suffered from low male populations due to frequent warfare. Native women were often willing to marry French fur trappers instead of marrying within their tribe. Some native women encouraged their daughters to marry French traders to improve trade relationships and giving them access to European luxuries they could not otherwise afford.

First Nations women were the first to learn French and to teach fur traders native languages, acting as mediators between indigenous statesmen and the French colonial enterprise. Intermarriage between French Canadian fur traders and indigenous women initially favored the French cause because it nurtured kinship bonds that extended French trading influence deep into the frontier. French Catholic missionaries were also more successful in recruiting converts among the First Nations because they welcomed the persistence of indigenous culture after conversion. The same could be said for French/indigenous marriages. Frenchmen rarely required their indigenous wives to convert or disown their families. During the 1600s, fur traders often had two wives, one indigenous wife in the Pays d’en Haute with a marriage contracted on mutual agreement and another French-born wife in a St. Lawrence settlement whose vows were solemnized in a Catholic ceremony.

an engraving of several native american people trading goods like blankets with european men

Haudenosaunee people trading with Europeans, 1722 | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Marissa: The Haudenosaunee settled in small villages surrounding Montreal, the most well known being Caughnawaga (called Sault St. Louis by the French). Several indigenous smuggling operations have been traced to women operating out of Caughnawaga. The Mohawk and Seneca especially, smuggled French-trapped furs out of the St. Lawrence River Valley to the British at Albany or the Dutch in New Amsterdam. The British and Dutch paid high prices for beaver pelts. Historians have recently uncovered how Canadian indigenous people contributed to British smuggling operations from the 1690s to the 1750s. It is suspected that Albany trader Evert Wendell and his siblings employed hundreds of native traders in a massive rum smuggling operation that started in the 1690s and continued until the 1720s. The Wendells’ financial records show that they traded suspicious amounts of rum exclusively to Canadian indigenous traders on credit and that many of the traders never settled their accounts. The furs they received in exchange for their rum were so valuable that they were able to figure these defaults into their pricing.

Almost half of the indigenous smugglers were women. The Wendell trading records are hauntingly detailed in their descriptions of indigenous Canadian women traders. In 1698, Albany trader Evert Wendell recorded his transactions with a “limping female savage” from Canada who traded several animal skins for a kettle, shirts, and rum. Two years later, she returned with eight beaver pelts which she exchanged “for a French canoe… with which she went to Canada.” The Wendells also recorded their transactions with “ a pockmarked female Mohawk . . . from Canada arrived to trade just after Christmas in 1705, bearing ‘greetings from the priest.’” She purchased on credit red duffel stockings and nine bars of lead. She returned three months later to pawn an ax. That May, she returned with beaver pelts to settle her account. The Wendells traded with her for several years after.

Elizabeth: Smuggling operations became increasingly elaborate but indigenous women were still crucial to the operations. Albany merchant Robert Sanders employed six indigenous smugglers in the 1750s. Two of them, named Agnesse and Marie-Magdeleine, were women. Both women traveled by footpath between Montreal and Albany, smuggling furs past French fortresses. Between May and July of 1753, Agnesse made at least three round trips. With the French on high alert, the indigenous smugglers became skilled at diverting their attention as their colleagues snuck contraband through the jurisdiction.

Marissa: By the mid-1700s, Catholic French Canadian men were marrying indigenous women in large numbers and establishing creole fur-trading towns. Their children began to be referred to as “métis” which translates roughly as “crossbreed.” According to the marriage registers of St. Anne’s in Michilimackinac, a town that grew out of a French fortress in what is now northern Michigan, 65% of French Canadian men married indigenous or métis women. As creole settlements grew, they developed their own language called Michif, a cross between Cree (and Algonquian language) and French.

Many fur trappers and merchants living in Canada were married to European women but they often spent months apart from their spouses. French Canadian women tended homes and farms on the edges of the frontier or small houses in the larger towns, selling their handicrafts and produce at market, while their husbands explored the vast Canadian wilderness with indigenous guides, hunting for food and skins. But in French Canada, women had more rights to property than their Anglo counterparts in the thirteen colonies. Some French Canadian women, such as Louise de Ramezay, were themselves formidable traders. Ramezay was the daughter of a wealthy Montreal governor but she spent her life organizing and supervising her own milling, tanning, and lumber export operations. Agathe de Sainte-Pierre was married to a French Canadian military hero but made no mention of him in her correspondence with French ministers. This was a common strategy among Anglo women who wrote to the English Crown from the colonies; they would use their husbands’ military honors to get their letters in front of the King’s ministers. Agathe de Sainte-Pierre, instead, chose to highlight her entrepreneurial talents which she demonstrated by establishing a successful textile manufactory:

“I would never finish, Monseigneur, were I to indulge myself in revealing all the knowledge I have of the advantages to be found in Canada…. only my courage has prevented my ceding to difficulties and expenses that I had to make in these beginnings…. The country… would receive endless fruits from the use of these resources which until now have been enveloped in obscurity from which I have raised them. My imagination, Monsieur, has procured me the honour to enter into a little part of your intentions.” (Is this B for real right now?)

Elizabeth: Historians of defamation and slander cases in French Canada have uncovered that French Canadian women enjoyed freedom of speech that was unheard of in Anglo-America. They made their ideas about politics, morality, and religion known in public forums. Mobs of ordinary French Canadian women descended on bailiffs and governors, demanding churches in their neighborhoods or criticizing their choice to allow the sale of horse meat at market. Aristocratic women could also be influential. Outside observers often commented on the uncanny ability of French Canadian High Society women to manipulate political appointments through gossip and flattery alone.

The most notorious of these High Society women was Madame de Vaudreuil. She was the wife of New France’s Governor-General Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil and traveled to Versailles in 1709 to influence the French court. Regarded as “witty but dangerous,” she quickly became an important socialite and befriended the Minister of Marine, Jérôme de Pontchartrain, who directed all colonial affairs. The Attorney General of Québec said of Madame Vaudreuil, “She controls all the positions in Canada… she writes magnificent letters from all sorts of places to the seaports about the power she can exert over [Minister Pontchartrain]… she offers her protection, she threatens to use her influence… She causes great fear and imposes silence on most of those who could speak against her husband.”[3]

Marissa: This is not to say that French Canadian women had dismantled the patriarchy. The frequency of spousal separation made wives vulnerable to charges of adultery even though it was more often husbands who were breaking their vows. In the 1670s and 1680s, indigenous men frequented the town of Montreal to trade and rumor spread that these indigenous traders were copulating with French women colonists. In fact, the anxiety over miscegenation between white women and indigenous men was so compelling that municipal authorities fast-tracked the construction of Montreal’s Jericho Prison for “women and girls of ill repute” in 1686.

The modest towns of Montreal and Quebec, unlike the trading posts, fortresses, and Canadian wilderness, were subject to heavy-handedness of enthusiastic clergy and moralizing magistrates. A French soldier named La Hontan served in Canada during the 1680s and 1690s and wrote the following dour description of Montreal in a letter home:

At least in Europe you have the amusement of Carnival, but here it is a perpetual Lent. We have a bigot of a pastor whose inquisition is entirely misanthropic. One must not think, under his spiritual despotism, either of games, or of seeing the ladies, or of any party of honest pleasure. Everything is scandal and mortal sin to this surly creature.

A contemporary photograph of montreal at night

A modern, night-time photograph of Montreal | Public Domain /Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth: In the seventeenth century especially, the Church maintained tight-fisted control over colonial society. And not all of the clergy’s ire was aimed at women. They harbored deep resentment toward the merchants and traders who, they said, behaved like hooligans during their visits to the city. Upon their return from trapping expeditions, fur traders were known to “plunge up to the neck into voluptuousness… Good living, women, gaming, drink, everything goes.”

There was a fair amount of kinky happenings going on in 17th century Montreal, more than one might think considering the resolutely Catholic conservatism of the town. Before 1700, there were 150 sex crime trials in New France involving 400 men and women. That is: seduction, rape, public debauchery, prostitution, solicitation, adultery, bigamy, concubinage, and sodomy. These are HUGE numbers when you consider how small the population was. In 1630, there were 103 colonists in all of New France; in 1640 there were 355. By 1700, the population of all of New France was the same as that of the city of Boston alone.

Marissa: The fur trade acted as a release valve for men who were frustrated with the unrelenting missionary devotion in Canadian missionary towns. La Hontan for example spent the cold months of 1685 traveling with the Algonquin and reading for pleasure. For French Canadian wives, however, such opportunities were rare. Though they enjoyed more freedom of speech and more robust property rights, French Canadian women’s sexuality was regulated by an invasive state and a vehement clergy.

In 1682, a woman named Anne Lamarque became the subject of scrutiny by Montreal’s powerful priests. Lamarque was known for her religious laxity and she was the proprietor of a successful inn called Cabaret de la Folleville (Cabaret of the Crazy-Woman-Town). The priests called her business to the attention of the town’s criminal authorities, accusing her of anticlericalism, sorcery, and of performing abortions. In the end she was charged with adultery, promiscuity and running a brothel but at trial, her accusers tried (unsuccessfully) to convince the court that she was a witch. Lamarque benefited from the jurisdictional squabbles that pitted clerical authorities against secular governors in the colonies. But her case illustrates that failing to conform to French conceptions of womanhood put some French Canadian women at risk.

Elizabeth: Seventeenth-century French Canada experienced the same witchcraft hysteria that resulted in the hangings of over 20 women in New England in the same period, but on a much smaller scale. France had its own witchcraft panic from 1677 to 1682 called the Affair of the Poisons. Almost 200 people were arrested, 36 were executed, and dozens more committed suicide or died from harsh conditions in prison. French Canada had only a handful of true witchcraft cases yet historians have uncovered considerable evidence of their preoccupation with the Devil and maleficium.

They were particularly worried that sorcery would interfere with conjugal relations. In 1657, Montreal resident René Besnard was prosecuted for causing impotence in Pierre Gadois. Besnard had purportedly made advances toward Gadois wife before their marriage. His supposed impotence curse was believed to be an act of revenge against Gadois. Besnard was found guilty and sentenced to banishment and the Gadois marriage annulled “for cause of perpetual impotence.” Gadois and his former wife both married again and had children. They so sincerely believed that Besnard had cursed their marriage that they were physically unable to consummate their marriage. (The power of the mind!) This anxiety about sorcery preventing sex between married couples was so powerful that in 1703, the Bishop of Quebec requested that all clergy in Canada pray for “married persons prevented by maleficium or spell to make use of marriage.” (17th century problems am I right?)

Marissa: More than anything, French Canadian perceptions of good and evil were shaped by their frontier environment. They often saw, in the vast wilderness around them, the workings of Lucifer. After an earthquake hit Quebec in 1663, Sister Marie de L’Incarnation, founder of the the Canadian branch of the Ursuline order, attributed the event to demonic intervention. She wrote:

“Shortly before the quake, I saw four demons furious and enraged at the four corners of Quebec, who were shaking the earth with such violence that they said they would overturn everything… Terrifying specters were seen. And as demons sometimes mingle in thunder,… it was easily believed that they had mingled in this earthquake to heighten the terror that nature causes.”

*This idea is so fascinating to me that the wild frontier could be so many things to Canadians at the same time. To Marie de L’Incarnation it was a vast and powerful space where the Devil could make his presence known; to the French is was a vast expanse filled with valuable raw materials and animal skins; to restless fur traders, it was an escape; to the First Nations it was home, a home they were now compelled to share with the French, Dutch, and British; and to French Canadian wives it was a place where they could speak freely and rise to the challenge of building families and businesses with their hard work.

*Another aspect of this history that is so compelling for me is that we know so much about all of these ordinary people. Only 25% of Canadians were literate in the period we covered today. Documentation is incredibly scarce, and made even more so by the fact that French Canadians’ primary allies were the Haudenosaunee whose documentation was almost entirely oral. It’s just amazing really that we have so many surviving stories or ordinary people from this time and place. There are many great monographs and articles (some of which we’ll link in the Show notes) despite the paucity of source material. I think part of the reason for that is that people are drawn to studying frontiers. The idea of a vast and unconquered wilderness is very appealing to people and historians have, for decades now, dug deep into the historical record in search of this fleeting French Canadian past.


Choquette, Leslie Phyllis. Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French North America (Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 1994).

Hervé Gagnon, “Witchcraft in Montreal and Quebec during the French Regime, 1600-1760” in Wonders of the Invisible World 1600-1900 (Boston: Boston University, 1995), 73-85.

Landry, Yves. 1994. “Fertility in France and New France: The Distinguishing Characteristics of Canadian Behavior in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”. Social Science History. 17, no. 4: 577.

Noel, Janet. Along a River: The First French-Canadian Women. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

Ann M. Little. The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright. Yale University Press, 2016.

Bakker, Peter. A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

[1] Quoted in The First French Canadian Women, p. 7.

[2] Quoted in The First French Canadian Women, p. 7.

[3] Quoted in Noel, J. 2010. ““Fertile with Fine Talk”: Ungoverned Tongues Among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors”. ETHNOHISTORY. 57, no. 2: 207.

Fur Trading and Frontier Life in French Canada


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