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

Global factors influenced the fur trade in Canada.

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Author: John Outlaw
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.
  -68- John Outlaw: About Radison & Goosebury

This is an affidavit concerning a French attack on an English post at Port Nelson in 1682: Radisson was there in the service of the Compagnie du Nord, while Outlaw was in the service of New England traders and John Bridgar commanded a Hudson's Bay Company expedition (also taken prisoner by Radisson).

Although the Sainte-Anne was unseaworthy, Outlaw successfully navigated her to James Bay and returned to England on the HBC ship Diligence. [PRO, CO 1/66 No. 122 Dec 4, 1683; Short version No. 119 Nov 14, 1683.] p104-05, 2nd pgh: "John Outlawes Affidavit... thence."

"John Outlawes Affidavit concerning the French Insult from Canada.

John Outlaw of Limehouse Marriner & Shipwright maketh Oath, that on the 21th Day of June 1682, he sayled from New England in a ship called the Batchelors Delight, as one of the Mates of the said ship, of which Benjamin Gillam was Commander, and came into the River of Port Nellson the 19th August following, and sayled up the River aboute 26 miles and landing upon an Island, which was called the Batchelors Island, a Fort was erected by the said ships crew.

The 17th September following, one Mr. Radison and one Mr. Goosebury with some other French men came thither and Demanded what we were? we told them Engelish men, they then demanded what we had to doe there? we told them, we tooke our selves to be in the King of Englands Dominions.

They said it was the King of Frances Dominions, and that we had no right to be there, But that they were in the King of Francis service, and acted by his commission and by the particuler authority of the Governour of Canada.

Aboute the 6 February following they came with 10 men to the said Batchelors Island and tooke the Fort which we had built there, and afterwards burnt the same, and tooke the said ship and possessed themselves of all that belonged to us, and tooke us all Prisoners.

And aboute the 14 August following they put this Deponent and 11 more of the Hudsons Bay Company servants on board a Leakey vessell called the saint Ann, and allowing them very short provissions of beefe and oatemeale only, they forced us to sea, which was at that time much incumbred with ice, and the nearest Harbour was about 200 Leagues distant from thence."

Other Related Material
Read other accounts about this period in British and French relations - enter 'Beale,' 'Kelsey,' 'Knight,' 'McCliesh,' 'Nixon,' 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?
Radisson and Outlaw became co-workers in 1684, when both entered HBC service: Outlaw was captured by French forces again in a 1686 attack on Moose Factory.

While Radisson retired in 1687, in the same year, Outlaw quarrelled with the Company over wages and joined a private trading expedition to Hudson Bay the following year.

Outlaw's ship, the Mary, was wrecked by ice in Hudson Strait and he was again rescued by an HBC ship. However, his rescuers took him and his crew to Albany, where that winter he was taken prisoner by the French for a third time.

In 1689 or 1690, Outlaw bowed to the seemingly inevitable: he entered French service, moved to Quebec, married a French woman (Francoise Denis), and commanded a French frigate on privateering expeditions.