Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving




































































































































 -  With the lax
habits and easy familiarity of his race, he had a little world of
self-indulgence and misrule - Page 10
Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving - Page 10 of 615 - First - Home

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With The Lax Habits And Easy Familiarity Of His Race, He Had A Little World Of Self-Indulgence And Misrule Around Him.

He had his clerks, canoe men, and retainers of all kinds, who lived with him on terms of perfect

Sociability, always calling him by his Christian name; he had his harem of Indian beauties, and his troop of halfbreed children; nor was there ever wanting a louting train of Indians, hanging about the establishment, eating and drinking at his expense in the intervals of their hunting expeditions.

The Canadian traders, for a long time, had troublesome competitors in the British merchants of New York, who inveigled the Indian hunters and the coureurs des bois to their posts, and traded with them on more favorable terms. A still more formidable opposition was organized in the Hudson's Bay Company, chartered by Charles II., in 1670, with the exclusive privilege of establishing trading houses on the shores of that bay and its tributary rivers; a privilege which they have maintained to the present day. Between this British company and the French merchants of Canada, feuds and contests arose about alleged infringements of territorial limits, and acts of violence and bloodshed occurred between their agents.

In 1762, the French lost possession of Canada, and the trade fell principally into the hands of British subjects. For a time, however, it shrunk within narrow limits. The old coureurs des bois were broken up and dispersed, or, where they could be met with, were slow to accustom themselves to the habits and manners of their British employers.

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