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"Runners of the woods" was an French-Canadian who traveled in New France and the interior of North. Early fur trade era this meant circumventing the normal channels by going deeper into the wilderness to trade. Later it involved trading without permission from the French authorities. They ventured into hostile Iroquois territory to trade various European items for furs, especially beaver pelts, and learned the trades and practices of the Native people who inhabited there.

Coureur des bois folklorique by on @deviantART - A popular romanticized image of Canada's historical fur traders. However, there are a few problems here, as pointed out by the artist (in French). First, the First Nations these men traded with tended to be clean-shaven, so it was likely the traders would adapt their appearance to fit in. Secondly, leather clothing was stiff and tended to get heavy when wet - NOT good when most of the trade routes involved river…

1824. Snake County Expediition. The earliest fur trapping expeditions in the Snake Country of present-day Idaho and Montana were led by a Scotsman, Donald Mackenzie, on behalf of the North West Company. Mackenzie's "brigades" of five dozen or so trappers and their families revolutionized the fur trade in the Americas, which were previously based on established trading posts in permanent locations.


Songs Of The Voyageurs

great for fur trade