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The fur trade influenced the historical development of Canada in a number of ways including: the development and expansion into western and northern Canada; the significance of Canadian place names; the origin and rise of the Métis Nation; the impact of interaction between the First Peoples and the Europeans-and these connections can be found in personal and commercial stories about the people and events of the fur trade.

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Author: Pierre Gaultier de Varennes de la Vérendrye and his sons
Title: Journals and Letters of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes de la Vérendrye and His Sons
Publisher: The Champlain Society, Toronto
Year Published: 1927
Copyright Holder: Image courtesy of The Champlain Society
  -53- La Verendrye (son): Fort Maurepas

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye (1685-1749), was a French military officer who succeeded his brother as commandant of the great fur-trading area north of Lake Superior.

He was the first French trader to establish posts west of the height of land, and built a string of posts up the Saskatchewan River valley.

In this letter to the Marquis de Beauharnois, the governor of New France, la Verendrye's son explains how he established Fort Maurepas on the Red River. The letter is dated 7 June, 1735. p197-98, 2nd pgh: "Monsieur, I have... my father."

I have established a fort at Lake Winnipeg five leagues up the Red River, on a fine point commanding a distant view. There are many fish in this river; it is a fine spot and a pleasant place to live at; game abounds. There are thirty portages but not one bad one. The fort and the river bear the name of Maurepas. I could not establish myself nearer the Lake, because it is all prairie there.

I have not seen the Cree yet; I expect they will all come to see me this winter, as I sent them word of our new establishment. My cousin La Jemeraye, Monsieur, is in a position to give you a full account of all that has taken place at the first posts in the absence of my father.”

Other Related Material
Read more about the Verendryes - enter 'Verendrye' in the search box to your left.

Check the Beaver Index - type 'Verendrye' in the keyword box.

Did You Know?
Fort Maurepas was named after King Louis XV's colonial minister, the Comte de Maurepas, who was becoming impatient with the slow pace of exploration.