Pathfinders of the West eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 264 pages of information about Pathfinders of the West.

[14] There is a discrepancy in dates here which I leave savants to worry out. Albanel’s Relation (Cramoisy) is of 1672.  Thomas Gorst, secretary to Governor Bayly, says that the quarrel took place in 1674.  Oldmixon, who wrote from hearsay, says in 1673.  Robson, who had access to Hudson’s Bay records, says 1676; and I am inclined to think they all agree.  In a word, Radisson and Groseillers were on bad terms with the local Hudson’s Bay Company governor from the first, and the open quarrel took place only in 1675.  Considering the bigotry of the times, the quarrel was only natural.  Bayly was governor, but he could not take precedence over Radisson and Groseillers.  He was Protestant and English.  They were Catholics and French.  Besides, they were really at the English governor’s mercy; for they could not go back to Canada until publicly pardoned by the French king.

[15] State Papers, Canadian Archives, October 20, 1676, Quebec:  Report of proceedings regarding the price of beaver . . . by an ordinance, October 19, 1676, M. Jacques Duchesneau, Intendant, had called a meeting of the leading fur traders to consult about fixing the price of beaver.  There were present, among others, Robert, Cavelier de la Salle, . . .  Charles le Moyne, . . . two Godefroys of Three Rivers, . . .  Groseillers, . . .  Jolliet, . . .  Pierre Radisson.

[16] Mr. Low’s geological report on Labrador contains interesting particulars of the route followed by Father Albanel.  He speaks of the gorge and swamps and difficult portages in precisely the same way as the priest, though Albanel must have encountered the worst possible difficulties on the route, for he went down so early in the spring.

CHAPTER VI

1682-1684

RADISSON GIVES UP A CAREER IN THE NAVY FOR THE FUR TRADE

Though opposed by the Monopolists of Quebec, he secures Ships for a Voyage to Hudson Bay—­Here he encounters a Pirate Ship from Boston and an English Ship of the Hudson’s Bay Company—­How he plays his Cards to win against Both Rivals

A clever man may be a dangerous rival.  Both France and England recognized this in Radisson.  The Hudson’s Bay Company distrusted him because he was a foreigner.  The fur traders of Quebec were jealous.  The Hudson’s Bay Company had offered him a pension of 100 pounds a year to do nothing.  France had pardoned his secession to England, paid his debts, and given him a position in the navy, and when the fleet was wrecked returning from the campaign against Dutch possessions in the West Indies, the French king advanced money for Radisson to refit himself; but France distrusted the explorer because he had an English wife.  All that France and England wanted Radisson to do was to keep quiet.  What the haughty spirit of Radisson would not do for all the fortunes which two nations could offer

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Pathfinders of the West from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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