What is a voyageur Canada?
Voyageurs were independent contractors, workers or minor partners in companies involved in the fur trade. They were licensed to transport goods to trading posts and were usually forbidden to do any trading of their own. The fur trade changed over the years, as did the groups of men working in it.
What is the difference between a coureur de bois and a voyageur?
What is the difference between the coureurs des bois and the voyageurs? The coureurs des bois were active during the French Regime. They were small businessmen trapping fur animals and trading. The voyageurs, for their part, were hired hands.
Are voyageurs Metis?
From the 1770s until the 1821 merger, most voyageurs were French-Canadians from Lower Canada (now the southern portion of Quebec) and to a lesser extent Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Algonquins (Anishinaabeg). After the fur trade merger, the majority of boatmen working in the fur trade were Métis.
Are voyageurs French?
“Voyageur”, the French word for traveler, refers to the contracted employees who worked as canoe paddlers, bundle carriers, and general laborers for fur trading firms from the 1690s until the 1850s. This is why voyageurs were also known as “engagés”, a loose French expression translated as “employees”.
How do I become a voyageur?
When a youth had developed his arm and back strength, he could become a voyageur, about age 16, but some started as early as age 11. Voyageurs had to carry two 90-pound bundles of fur or trade goods over portages (and some carried more — they liked proving themselves). This job was at the lowest level in the fur trade.
What physical characteristics did the voyageur have?
Voyageurs could be identified by their distinctive clothing. They often wore a red toque and a sash around their waist. The white cotton shirt was protection from the sun and mosquitoes. They also wore breeches with leggings and moccasins.
What was the number one cause of death of a voyageur?
Some carried up to four or five, and there is a report of a voyageur carrying seven bundles for half of a mile. Hernias were common and frequently caused death. Most voyageurs would start working in their early twenties, and they would continue working until they were in their sixties.
Who were the French voyageurs?
Voyageurs were French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years. Voyageur is a French word, meaning “traveler”. From the beginning of the fur trade in the 1680s until the late 1870s, the voyageurs were the blue-collar workers of the Montreal fur trade.
What did the voyageurs eat for breakfast?
As they paddled through Georgian Bay, the men saw hardly anyone for weeks, and they set off at first light, paddling for several hours before stopping for a breakfast of oatmeal, cornmeal, or beans.
What did the voyageurs sleep in?
When they were finished all of the work, the voyageurs told stories and sang songs until it was time to sleep. Shelter for the night was an overturned canoe, a bed of moss, and a blanket or furs for warmth. If the weather was bad, they erected a tarp as cover.
How were the Voyageurs regarded in Canada?
The voyageurs were regarded as legendary, especially in French Canada. They were heroes celebrated in folklore and music. For reasons of promised celebrity status and wealth, this position was very coveted.
Who were the Voyageurs of New France?
Map of New France (blue color) in 1750. From the beginning of the fur trade in the 1680s until the late 1870s, the voyageurs were the blue-collar workers of the Montreal fur trade. At their height in the 1810s, they numbered as many as three thousand.
Where can I find Canadian vignettes about Voyageurs?
Montreal, Que.: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992. pg.122–123 Canadian Vignettes: Voyageurs. A Film Board of Canada vignette Coppenrath Collection of Voyageur Contracts, Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill Library. Contains 52 voyageur contracts between 1800 and 1821.
What did the Voyageurs eat in Canada?
Another was rubaboo or other dishes made from dried peas. It was more prevalent to include salt pork in the eastern routes. Montreal-based voyageurs could be supplied by sea or with locally grown crops. Their main food was dried peas or beans, sea biscuit and salt pork. In the Great Lakes area, some maize and wild rice could be obtained locally.