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Home >> From 1600 to 1867 >> Globalization >> Articles/Diaries/Ephemera/Journals

Global factors influenced the fur trade in Canada.

Image 1
Author: The London Committee
Title: Copy-book of Letters Outward &c 1679-94
Publisher: The Champlain Society for The Hudson's Bay Record Society
Year Published: 1948
Copyright Holder: Expired; no restrictions on use. Please credit The Hudson's Bay Record Society.
  -67- HBC London Committee: French Threat

This is a postscript to a June 1681 letter to Governor John Nixon at Fort Albany from the HBC's London Committee. It warns Nixon of French traders encroaching on the Company's establishments on James Bay.

Not only did Nixon need to worry about the resulting loss of trade, the French also posed a potential military threat: the Committee ordered Nixon to fortify his trading posts in case the French (or their Native allies) attacked -- which they did in 1686. p28, 1st pgh: "Postscript... Factory."

"Wee are informed by one Radison a French man who formerly served the Company That the French have built a Fort and settled a Factory within lesse than a dayes Journey from Ruperts river, which if it bee true, our dangers from the French doe approach,

but however we knowe well our settlement in the Bay is a greate offence to the French, and therefore it concerns us, tobe carefull to secure our Factoryes from any designe of theyres or of the Natives upon us,

To which end wee advise you that in all places where your Factoryes are Established, you make some defensive Fortifications as Capt. Guillam did at first at Rupert river, where hee digged a Graft and Strengthned with pallisades, and wee desire that Fort may bee repaired and kept in order by those which from time to tyme shalbee employed in that Factory."

Other Related Material
Read other accounts about this period in British and French relations - enter 'Beale,' 'Kelsey,' 'Knight,' 'McCliesh,' 'Outlaw,' or 'Pinfold' in the search box to your left.

View one artist's perception of a battle at sea.

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., enter 'Albany Fort,' 'Gillam,' 'Kelsey,' 'Knight,' 'York Factory,' etc.

Read more about John Nixon in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Did You Know?
The "Radison" referred to in this postscript was Pierre Esprit Radisson, who had served the HBC from its first voyage in 1668 until 1675.

In 1682, he sailed to Port Nelson (York Factory) for the Canadian Compagnie du Nord: over the winter, he captured competing traders from New England and from the HBC.

He rejoined HBC service in 1684, handing over the Compagnie du Nord's post at Port Nelson, and retired to the suburbs of London in 1687.