History First Nations 1800S Fur Trading Essay
History: First States 1800S Fur Trading Essay, Research Paper
Introducing the Fort Billions of people in the yesteryear, and one million millions of people in the hereafter to come, hold had, or will hold trading as a major dealing in their lives, either through a garrison like Fort Langley or modernly through a hard currency registry in town. It was an epoch when flag followed trade, and pelt bargainers often acted as progress guards of the imperium. The first British involvements were sparked by the rich supply of sea otter furs brought back by seamans working the Pacific seashore about 1793 and the copiousness of pelt collected by the North West Company in its geographic expedition of the inland trade of the Pacific incline from 1811. The companies merged in 1821 At the latter terminal of the month of July, 1827, the work of raising the new station to be called Fort Langley had begun under the way of James McMillan. Founded by Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company, it was the place of birth of British Columbia and played a cardinal function in the maritime and interior fur trade activities of the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company west of the Rockies. The first garrison was built on the present site of Derby Reach ( discovered by Simon Fraser ) , 20 stat mis up the Fraser river and became a new sort of trading station which was a portion of a web of trading stations established by the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company on the Pacific Slope in the early 19th century. Situated on the fertile Bankss of the Fraser River, 40 proceedingss form Vancouver, the small town of Fort Langley reflects the place of birth of British Columbia. Fort Langley was a focal point of West Coast development, a farm, salmon processing works, and besides a warehouse were strong points. Located on the lower Fraser River in 1827 it assured a future base of operations for the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company. It besides served as a convenient trading centre for a broad district. It was the first topographic point of uninterrupted European colony on the border-land of the Pacific between Puget Sound and Alaska, and was the staging country for the 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush. Fort Langley had three epochs it was reconstructed three times. The original garrison burned down in 1840. It was instantly rebuilt on the present site, four stat mis down from its old location at this peculiar location. The garrison has been restored, and now houses, a aggregation of 3,500 objects from the country have made this garrison a historic land grade. Through its trade in pelt was ab initio profitable, its chief function became a supportive one including varied economic activities. It operated a big graduated table farm, initiated the celebrated West seashore pink-orange wadding industry and began BC & # 8217 ; s foreign commercialism. Fort Langley besides blazed the first functional all -Canadian path from the seashore to the inside and with its sister stations helped continue British Columbia involvements West of the Rockies. The undermentioned paper is an effort to roll up together some information about the garrison and its residents during the century that has elapsed. Our scrutiny of the constitution of Fort Langley will supply an penetration into the nature of the Fur Trade and the interaction of the assorted groups of people involved in it. How the Europeans and the HBCo. came about in Constructing the Fort There were two chief ground for the constitution of Fort Langley ; foremost, to head off the American bargainers whose ships were sailing up the Fraser, monopolising the trade: and secondly, to supply a site where farm green goods might be produced in copiousness to feed the residents of the assorted garrisons of the Company West of the Mountains. The Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company and the North West Company amalgamated as the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company. After the brotherhood of the North West and Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Companies in 1821, a Royal License was issued to the reconstituted Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company, giving it a monopoly on trade in the unorganised districts of North America, including the state West of the Rockies. Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company therefore became Britain & # 8217 ; s keeper of the Pacific North west. This Monopoly, nevertheless, could non except American competition. The Pacific part, so known as the Columbia District or the Oregon district, had been jointly occupied by Britain and the United States since 1818 and commercialism between latitudes 40. and 54.40 & # 8242 ; was unfastened by international pact. Although British bargainers dominated the inside, pelts frequently found their manner to American Ships, which controlled the seashore. During Governor George Simpson of the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company foremost visit to the Columbia District in 1824, he worked out a program to stop American competition. He aimed by intensive hunting and underselling, to win control of the seashore and the Columbia River part and to set up them as frontier zones to protect the company & # 8217 ; s valuable resources in the northern inside. He besides looked to the Fraser River to supply a new entree to the inside, a reconnaissance party led by Chief Trader James McMillan made a preliminary study of the lower Fraser Valley in November 1824. Three old ages subsequently, a site on the south bank of the Fraser, near the Salmon River, was selected for a prospective terminal named Fort Langley in honor of Thomas Langley, a directory of the Company. The bosom of Simpson & # 8217 ; s scheme was a new terminal to be erected near the oral cavity of Fraser River. The bing terminal, Fort George, was South of the Columbia River, which the Governor expected to go the United States boundary line. In that event, the Company & # 8217 ; s provide line to its inland stations might be blocked. The country was foremost discovered by Simon Fraser, an adventurer for the North West Fur Trading Company, in 1808. The Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company expanded on other countries of concern, outside of the fur trade. In 1824 preliminary scrutinies were made to busy the oral cavity of the Fraser River with a trading station which would besides transport on the work of farming and fishing. It was non until 1827 that this program materialized with the edifice of Fort Langley. The programs for set uping Fort Langley were pursued. One can merely presume that in his disdain for North West Company direction in the Columbia territory, Simpson concluded that deficiency of efficiency implied a inclination to overrate troubles. The concluding determination to set up Fort Langley was made by the Governor and Committee on the advice of Simpson. In 1826 the Thompson and Fraser Rivers were explored above their junction, and in 1827 programs for Fort Langley were put into operation. The new station was named Fort Langley after Thomas Langley, a outstanding member and shareholder of that name, who was associated with Sir J. Pelly in the direction of the company. James McMillan, a really intelligent adult male, a former member of the North West Company, was one of the officers of the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company who met Simpson at Boat Encampment in the fall of 1824. He was topographic point in charge of an expedition to be sent in November of that same twelvemonth to research the shore line of Puget Sound, and the Waterss of the Fraser River. On Wednesday, June 27th, 1827, James McMillan, who had headed the party of 1824, left for Fort Langley. James McMillan was in charge of land party made up of Canadians, assorted bloods, Hawaiians, Kanakas and Iroquois, most of whom were former employees of the North West Company. They were to research non merely for a garrison site, but for dirt suitable for extended agriculture operation every bit good. Thus it was that the expedition passed up the Nicomekl to Langley Prairie. The Indians of the party who were principally interested in the edifice of a garrison beside the waterway demurred because of the long portage, which was truly the best mob to analyze the agricultural possibilities. Fort Langley was founded on 1827, though this was really tardily in the North American Fur Trade period, the indigens of the Lower Fraser Valley had experienced the effects of contact merely indirectly, and the operation of the land based fur trade on the Pacific incline was undergoing considerable alteration as the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company established control during a period when the invasion of the colony frontier was obvious. McMillan had contributed a great trade to geographic expedition in the Pacific Northwest. His life had demanded great physical staying power and bravery, and McMillan was desiring in neither. He was prepared to support himself and his party against Indian onslaught, but he had besides acquired several Indian linguistic communications and a repute as an & # 8220 ; first-class trader. & # 8221 ; It was McMillan & # 8217 ; s ability to take his work forces by illustration and to digest great adversity without ailment that had won Simpson & # 8217 ; s blessing. Consequently, he was less suited to implementing Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company policies. Construction of the first Fort Langley commenced on August 1, 1827. The new garrison measured 41 metres by 36.6 metres and was solidly enclosed by a palisade 4.6 metres high. Buildings in the new composite included the Big House, where the officers were quartered ; a edifice with three compartments to house other ranks ; a broad shop ; one & # 8220 ; good & # 8221 ; house ; and a smaller house with two suites and a kitchen. Two bastions equipped with heavy weapon completed the new garrison. The undermentioned description is given by McDonald in his diary of the Governor & # 8217 ; s journey: The garrison is 135 by 120 pess with two good bastions, and a gallery four pess broad all unit of ammunition. A edifice of three compartments for the work forces, a little log house of two compartments in which the gentlemen themselves reside, , and a shop, are now occupied, besides which there are tow other edifices, one of good home house with an first-class basement and a broad loft. A twosome of well-finished chimneys are up, and the whole interior is now ready for wainscoating an breakdown. Four big Windowss are in forepart, and one in each terminal, and one, with a corresponding door, in the dorsum. The other is a low edifice with merely two square suites, with a hearth in each, and a kitchen bordering made of spline. The out-door work consists of three Fieldss, each planted with 30 bushels of murphies, and looks good. The commissariats shed, sole of table shop, is furnished with 3000 dried salmon, 16 grades salted salmon, 36 hundredweight. Of flour, 2 hundredweight. of lubricating oil, and 30 bushels of salt. ( Malclachlan, Morag. & # 8220 ; The Company on the Coast & # 8221 ; ) Archibald McDonald took charge of Fort Langley as its 2nd head, in October, 1828. He, who succeeded McMillan, had come into the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company service on the Eve of the merger. As clerk at Fort George he had worked with Simpson on the histories during the winter of 1824-25 and so had become familiar with rigorous economic systems which were expected. Though it was now apparent that Fort Langley would non go a major terminal, it was kept in operation because of the copiousness of fish available and the possibilities of agribusiness in the country. McDonald, dying to turn out himself, took his function as manger really earnestly. The day-to-day journal entries became longer and more enlightening and frequently the transcript sent to London had add-ons and omissions which reveal how witting he was of what the Committee member wanted to hear. McDonald remained in charge of Fort Langley until March, 1833, with James Murray Yale as his clerk and ultimate replacement. James Murray Yale, the 3rd head, who now presided over Fort Langley, retained that place for over 25 old ages. He entered the service of the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company about 1815 when he was a male child, and didn & # 8217 ; t have any publicity until 21 old ages subsequently. When pelt started to go scarce, Langley became a nutrient terminal of no average size, but it was a topographic point where a big figure of retainers were employed.In 1839, the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company agreed to rent the Alaskan Pan grip from the Russian American ( Fur ) Company for an one-year rent in otter teguments and specified farm merchandises. Fort Langley was called upon to bring forth wheat and butter for the Russian contract. In order to ease agrarian operation, the original garrison, now in a rotten status, was abandoned and a new one built four kilometres upriver, closer to the big prairie. As its immediate country became dog-tired, Fort Langley & # 8217 ; s primary map shifted from fur roll uping purveying to a web of stations and vass that were bit by bit built up to spread out the Company & # 8217 ; s control of the seashore and the Langley piscary and farm supplied many of their basic demands. James McMillan was an old employee of the North West Company. This Company did non raise their garrisons so exhaustively as did the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company, hence, in 1839 James Murray Yale wrote Douglas on October 14, that & # 8220 ; we have abandoned the old garrison which was in a bedraggled status and removed into a new garrison a few stat mis up the river & # 8221 ; . Douglas had antecedently concurred with such process. The New Fort Langley had been occupied merely 10 months when it was consumed by fire and had to be wholly rebuilt. In May, 1840, building commenced on another new composite which finally enclosed an country 192 by 73 metres and contained three to four bastions and about 15 edifices. It is on this site that the present Reconstruction has been made. The & # 8220 ; Big House & # 8221 ; at Fort Langley provided the background for the official ceremonial proclaiming the constitution of British Government of the Pacific mainland.The inaugural ceremonial at one time honored Fort Langley and signaled its diminution. It was besides the sight where the installing of Sir James Douglas, as first governor of British Columbia took topographic point, by Mathew Begbie, Chief Justice of British Columbia. The Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company received rubric to land at Fort Langley in 1864 but the annulment of its monopoly created competition for the piscary and farm. In 1858, pilotage was extended to Forts Hope and Yale, and Fort Langley & # 8217 ; s map both as excavation provider and transshipment terminal suddenly ceased. The choice of New Westminster as the Capital pushed Fort Langley & # 8220 ; out of the manner of travelers & # 8221 ; .
In the 1860 & # 8217 ; s, the Fort Langley farm was expanded to back up the Hudson & # 8217 ; s Bay Company & # 8217 ; s over
land transport service to the Caribou. Local competition was very strong, however, and from 1870 the land was offered for sale or lease. Company officers considered it “the finest land in British Columbia” and terms were kept auction in Victoria in 1878 and the rest by private sale over the next eight years. Indians and the Affects of the Fur Trade Trading was an important Indian activity. The Indians learned much from the white comers as they exchanged goods, shared ideas and experiences. Throughout America, goods were traded along routes that existed thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. Local Indians traded peacefully with the fort. They traded fish, furs, and cranberries in abundance, however McMillan estimated that in two months he had seen about 2000 Indians who had never had much contact with Whites. The Indians had no formal system of money. For the most part, they traded goods and services for other goods or services. In some areas, the Indians used certain objects as a medium of exchange, such as money is used today. Many coastal Indian groups had been engaged in trading with white comers for over forty years, before Fort Langley was founded. Animal pelts were worth “made beavers,” which is a standard of value, by which traders traded with the Natives. The trapper was given wooden tokens for each “made beaver.” One beaver pelt was worth two “made beaver”, 10 mink were worth two “made beaver”, and 10 raccoons were worth one “made beaver.” The tokens the trappers received for each “made beaver” were then used as money in the shop. For example, a blanket would have cost two tokens, and a kettle would have cost one.By its very nature, the fur trade was exploited, as was the commerce. Whether by sea or by land, brought disease and cultural change to the native way of life. Similar developments can be seen in the relationship between the Indians and the fort. In the Columbia district, the Nor’Westerners had battled Indians and made alliances with them; the Hudson’s Bay Company followed a policy of establishing firm control over them. Initially the native population had in the Fraser valley had advantages which made the traders vulnerable and dependent on them, but the foundation of the fort, and the people maintaining it, established a pattern of dominance which became clear when settlers arrived in the territory with the gold rush. The natives of the lower Fraser valley, living in an area becoming very heavily populated by White comers, became a part of fur trade society. The local Indian culture, barely touched when Fort Langley was founded in 1827, suffered disruptive and rapid change within two or three generations. At times, the natives were more anxious to sell than the traders to buy. The Indians were quite good bargainers, since natives from far and near came to the Fort to trade. McMillan at one time stated:These Indians, make great difficulty in bartering with us at our prices, on account of having been visited by the Americans last Spring, who supplied them with goods more cheaply than we doIndians were being introduced to the white man’s society, but at the lowest levels within the Hudson’s Bay Company. From working inadequate labor conditions on the farms; cleaning and salting fish, and unloading, loading vessels arriving at the fort. Fur Trading at the Fort From 1827 to 1833, Fort Langley played a major role in the British coastal offensive against the American traders. Gradually, but forcefully the traders imposed their value system on the Indians. Fort Langley remained in operation in order to produce food, not only for the maintenance of the posts and carrying trade, but also to export. Initially the post traded for fish because the men experienced difficulty in catching any. By 1830, company employees worked in a fishery which exploited the food source of the native people. After the founding of the fort, Indians were added to the work force. The women worked in housing potatoes and cleaning and salting fish, working in the farms, loading and unloading vessels coming and going to Fort Langley. More than half of the 3,000 beaver collected by the Hudson’s Bay Company on the coast in 1831, were from the new Fraser River establishment. Under the keen directions of Chief trader Archibald McDonald, Langley systematically undersold its American competitors and soon commanded the trade with Indian tribes throughout Vancouver Island, The Fraser river and Puget Sound.Trade between Indians and whites was important in North America. The settlers needed many of the things the Indians had, and the Indians wanted guns, horses, liquor, and metal tools. The transient maritime traders, operating from ships, undoubtedly engaged in unscrupulous practices on occasions, but the Indians, they dealt with were shrewd traders as capable as the white comers at manipulating and exploiting and well able to retain a large degree of control over the trade and their own culture. If the white men felt themselves to be at a disadvantage initially, they quickly began to overcome it. The Indians must frequently have been puzzled and dismayed at the ways of the traders. They were willing to form alliances through marriages in the Indian way, giving gifts to mark the occasion, but they failed to honour other obligations. An example is when Mr. Yale married the daughter of the Kwantlen chief. When the girls father came to visit his daughter, the daughter gave a warm blanket, and was humiliated by having the fifth snatched from the chief by McDonald. As its immediate area became exhausted, Fort Langley’s primary function shifted from fur collecting to provisioning. A network of posts and vessels was gradually built up to expand the Company’s control of the coast and the Langley fishery and farm supplied many of their basic needs. Salmon, abounding in the Fraser River, had been a staple of coast Indian and fur trader, and could be cheaply traded with the Indians for “vermilion, rings and other trifles”. Salting and packing salmon became an industry under Chief Trader McDonald and his successor James Murray Yale. By 1838 Langley supplied all the salt salmon required by the Hudson’s Bay Company’s operations west of the Rockies. As the Hudson’s Bay Company became linked to the wider commerce of the Pacific, Langley-cured salmon found its way to markets in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and Australia.The districts outgoing exports of fur, fish, and cranberries were prepared for shipment at Fort Langley. Furs were packed into bales using a press. When the furs were tightly pressed together in bundles, worms and insects could not get between them and spoil them. From 1833-1859, the Chief Trader was James Murray Yale. He commanded the people working at the fort. The traders depended on the Indians for fish, but when an Indian asked for food at the fort, he was dismissed and threatened for becoming rude. Langley was the original exporter of salt salmon, exported hemp, to be made into rope, sent large loads of cranberries to San Francisco. Langley was also the first to make an export of barrels. Langley made many things from birch: Milk pans, brooms, horse collars, wedges, axe handles and small hinges. Agriculture Farming was begun on the fertile prairie 11 kilometers from the fort in the area then known as Langley Prairie. Crops were frequently washed out in the low-lying land, but the agriculture operations steadily expanded until the Langley Farm covered 800 hectares. Producing potatoes, grain, cattle, pigs, barley, peas, dairy products, and wheat thus maintaining a stock of 200 pigs and 500 heads of cattle, it supplemented the produce of many Pacific forts and provided food for the SS Beaver and other Company vessels. Two decades of intense activity followed the establishment of the new fort. Grain production increased, beef and pork were salted for the Company ships and two dairies were kept in full production. Salted salmon continued to be popular in the Sandwich Islands and an annual export of 2000 barrels was not uncommon in the years between 1845 and 1854. Cranberries traded from Indians and packaged at Fort Langley sold at substantial profits in San Francisco. The urgent duties of brigade terminus were added to the normal occupation of fishery and farm. The foods and supplies shipped from Fort Victoria were packed at Fort Langley for distribution inland. Iron goods were manufactured for inland forts. Outgoing furs were sorted, cleaned land packed in 113-Kilogram bales for shipment to England. Farming activities begun under McMillan were enlarged. Salmon were brought and a start was made barreling fish for shipment to Hawaii. During the winter when Indians had usually retreated to Vancouver Island or up the Fraser, small hunting parties left the fort and the men were paid a small amount for the animals they trapped. During the term of McDonald, the fur trade was at its best; his report says 2,000 beaver skins were collected in 1834, but this trade gradually declined as the beaver became less plentiful. The development of the salmon industry and of the farm superseded it, but it was not until the last fort had been built that both these endeavors reached their peak. By 1838 the agriculture business had become so great that the Puget Sound Agriculture Company was formed to handle that end oft the trade. A Historical Event On November 19, 1858, in the reception room at the Big House at Fort Langley, Douglas handed Begbie his commission as chief Justice of the new colony of British Columbia, and in turn Begbie, chief justice, handed Douglas his commission as Governor in the new colony. Oaths of office were taken, proclamations were read revoking the Hudson’s Bay Company’s executive privileges. The “Big House” at Fort Langley provided the background for the official ceremony proclaiming the establishment of British Government on the Pacific Mainland. On Nov. 1858, 100 people assembled in the hall to hear the announcement that the company’s license was revoked and to witness the administration of oaths to the officers of the new government. Outside, a 17-gun salute, which pierced the drizzling quiet, marked the historic transition from fur trade domain to British Colony. This solute then proclaimed New Caledonia, a British Crown Colony; British Columbia was born. Influences of the Gold Rush on the Fort In 1858, Fort Langley achieved world fame as the starting point for the Fraser River gold field. In March of that year news reached San Francisco that gold had been discovered in the sand bars of the upper Fraser , and within months, 30,000 prospectors had poured into the area. The Fort Langley post became crowed with strangers eager for news of the latest discoveries and its sale shop, issuing miners tools land provisions, had a daily turnover of $1500. During the rush, James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver Island and manager of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Pacific business, took prompt action to secure British sovereignty and enforce the Company’s trade monopoly. Yet the licensing system which he introduced was clearly insufficient to permanently govern the growing population. The era of fur trade guardian ship was drawing to a close. In August 1858, the British Parliament revoked the Company’s monopoly and passed an act providing for a crown company on the Pacific Mainland. James Douglas was named first Governor of British Columbia. Conclusion The flag was erected in the summer of 1827. Fort Langley served as a supply depot, providing food and materials for inland forts. Much of the goods were make or grown right at the fort, but most of the factory-made goods were from England. Fort Langley, is often referred to as the “First Capital of British Columbia” as it was the first outpost of civilization on the Mainland Coast, north of the 49th paralel and south of Russian possession. This is were the salmon fisheries had developed as an export industry; timber used to manufacture barrels. After 1858, the fort fell slowly into disrepair. The palisade was dismantled in 1864, and by 1871 the blacksmith shop had been converted into a dwelling and the cooperage to a saleshop. A year , the “Big house” was pulled down and a new residence built for the post manager. Finally, in April 1886, a new Hudson’s Bay Company saleshop was constructed in the nearby village and Fort Langley ceased operations as a company post. The Hudson s Bay Company fort still function today as a working museum with costumed staff giving demonstrations on barrel making and blacksmithing Today there is one building- the old store-standing at Fort Langley as a museum for us to remember the people who created the Furious Fur Trading Fort-Fort Langley and most all understand that this fort was the birthplace of our legendary province. Bibliography Wait, Donald E. The Langley Story: An Early History of the Municipality of Langley. Manitoba: Don Waite Publishing, 1977. Ormsby, Margaret A. British Columbia: A History. Vancouver: Evergreen Press, 1958. Woodcock, George. British Coulumbia: A history of the Province. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntrye, 1990. McKelvie, B.A. Fort Langley: Outpost of Empire. Toronto: Southham Company Ltd, 1957.Mckelvie B.A Fort Langley: Birthplace of British Columbia. Victoria: Porceptic Books Ltd., 1960. Gibbard, John Edgar. “Early history of the Fraser Valley.” Diss. U of B.C., 1937. British Columbian. June 24, 1863, P.2. British Columbian. October 3, 1864, P.2. Maclachlan, Morag., et al. The Company on the Coast. Victoria: Nanaimo Historical Society with the aid of a grant from the British Columbia Heritage Trust., 1983. Nelson, Denys. Fort Langley 1827-1927: A century of settlement in the Valley of the Lower Fraser River. Fort Langley: Art, Historical Scientific Association of Vancouver, B.C., 1927. Murphy Paul. “The history of Fort langley.” Diss. U of B.C., 1929. Endnotes