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




































































































































 - 

Such is the present state of the fur trade, by which it will
appear that the extended sway of the - Page 600
Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving - Page 600 of 615 - First - Home

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Such Is The Present State Of The Fur Trade, By Which It Will Appear That The Extended Sway Of The

Hudson's Bay Company, and the monopoly of the region of which Astoria was the key, has operated to turn the

Main current of this opulent trade into the coffers of Great Britain , and to render London the emporium instead of New York, as Mr. Astor had intended.

We will subjoin a few observations on the animals sought after in this traffic, extracted from the same intelligent source with the preceding remarks.

Of the fur-bearing animals, "the precious ermine," so called by way of preeminence, is found, of the best quality, only in the cold regions of Europe and Asia. * Its fur is of the most perfect whiteness, except the tip of its tail, which is of a brilliant shining black. With these back tips tacked on the skins, they are beautifully spotted, producing an effect often imitated, but never equalled in other furs. The ermine is of the genus mustela (weasel), and resembles the common weasel in its form, is from fourteen to sixteen inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. The body is from ten to twelve inches long. It lives in hollow trees, river banks, and especially in beech forests; preys on small birds, is very shy, sleeping during the day, and employing the night in search of food. The fur of the older animals is preferred to the younger. It is taken by snares and traps, and sometimes shot with blunt arrows.

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