Hudson's Bay Company Adventures by Elle Andra-Warner

By Elle Andra-Warner

The explorers and fur investors who all started the Hudsons Bay corporation have been brash and bold adventurers looking for their fortunes within the New international. Hudsons Bay corporation Adventures vividly relates the often violent early heritage of the enduring Canadian corporation and the characters who laboured for it. In doing so, the ebook brings to existence the intriguing background of Canadas oldest corporation with stories of warring fur-trade businesses, astounding trips and remarkable hardships and hazard within the unforgiving wasteland

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They wore the fur side of the pelts next to their body. The sweat of their bodies, mixed with the smoke of their lodges, made the inside fur soft and supple with a silky sheen. ” This prized downy fur was used to make the beaver hats. The first of the popular men’s cocked hats were the cavalier hats of the 1600s. Painters presented romantic images of cavaliers in England and musketeers in France wearing these hats. The wide-brimmed beaver hats were trimmed with ostrich plumes and jewellery, and one side of the brim was usually cocked or rolled.

The world of hat making was full of secret formulas and rivalries. Hat shops developed exclusive processes and mixtures. If an employee revealed these trade secrets to a competitor’s shop, the punishment could be death. And there was always the danger of the mad hatter syndrome—heavy metal poisoning from mercury. The pelts were soaked in a solution of mercury (mercuric oxide) to make the fur come off the pelts easily (called carroting because it gave fibres an orange tint). The mercury in the steam coming off the felt attacked the central nervous system of those involved in the felting and fulling of the hats.

These dangers, however, did not stop Radisson and des Groseilliers. On a misty morning in June 1668, the Nonsuch and the Eaglet slipped their moorings and sailed from Gravesend, England. They reached the open sea and headed north. After rounding the Orkneys at the far northern tip of Scotland, they headed due west toward the New World. The crew knew it was a hazardous journey, but Radisson and des Groseilliers were confident the mission would be a success. It did not take long for trouble to strike.

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