Children of the Fur Trade
John C. Jackson
A riveting glimpse into a unique heritage, Children of the Fur Trade recovers a vital part of Northwest history.
During the first half of the 19th century, a unique subculture built around hunting and mobility existed quietly in the Pacific Northwest. Descendants of European or Canadian fur trapper fathers and Native American mothers, these mixed-blood settlers--called Metis--were pivotal to the development of the Oregon Country, but have been generally neglected in its written history. Today we know them by the names they left on the land and the waters: The Dalles, Deschutes, Grand Ronde, Portneuf, Payette; and on the peoples who lived there: Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce.
John C. Jackson's Children of the Fur Trade gives readers a vivid and memorable portrait of Metis life at the western edge of North America. This informal account shows the Metis as explorers and mapmakers, as fur trappers and traders, and as boatmen and travelers in a vanishing landscape. Because of their mixed race, they were forced into the margin between cultures in collision. Often disparaged as half-breeds, they became links between the dispossessed native peoples and the new order of pioneer settlement.
About the author
John C. Jackson is the author of numerous books on Western history, including Shadow on the Tetons: David E. Jackson and the Claiming of the American West, The Piikani Blackfeet: A Culture Under Siege, and Jemmy Jock Bird: Marginal Man on the Blackfoot Frontier. Children of the Fur Trade was first published by Mountain Press in 1993. Jackson lives in Olympia, Washington.
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"Children of the Fur Trade is a distinctive look at a forgotten people. At a time when all Americans are concerned about issues of cultural complexity and diversity, Jackson's book reminds us that those questions have been part of our history for a very long time."
--James P. Ronda, H. G. Barnard Professor of Western American History at the University of Tulsa and author of Lewis and Clark Among the Indians