Pathfinders of the West eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Pathfinders of the West.

[13] Archives, October 25, 1683:  M. de la Barre grants Benjamin Gillam of Boston clearance for the ship Le Garcon, now in port at Quebec, although he had no license from his Britannic Majesty permitting him to enter Hudson Bay.

[14] Such foundationless accusations have been written against Radisson by historians who ought to have known better, about these furs, that I quote the final orders of the government on the subject:  November 5, 1683, M. de la Barre forbids Chalons, agent of La Ferme du Canada, confiscating the furs brought from Hudson Bay; November 8 M. de la Chesnaye is to be paid for the furs seized.




France refuses to restore the Confiscated Furs and Radisson tries to redeem his Fortune—­Reengaged by England, he captures back Fort Nelson, but comes to Want in his Old Age—­his Character

Radisson was now near his fiftieth year.  He had spent his entire life exploring the wilds.  He had saved New France from bankruptcy with cargoes of furs that in four years amounted to half a million of modern money.  In ten years he had brought half a million dollars worth of furs to the English company.[1] Yet he was a poor man, threatened with the sponging-house by clamorous creditors and in the power of avaricious statesmen, who used him as a tool for their own schemes.  La Chesnaye had saved his furs; but the half of the cargo that was the share of Radisson and Groseillers had been seized at Quebec.[2] On arriving in France, Groseillers presented a memorial of their wrong to the court.[3] Probably because England and France were allied by treaty at that time, the petition for redress was ignored.  Groseillers was now an old man.  He left the struggle to Radisson and retired to spend his days in quietness.[4] Radisson did not cease to press his claim for the return of confiscated furs.  He had a wife and four children to support; but, in spite of all his services to England and France, he did not own a shilling’s worth of property in the whole world.  From January to May he waited for the tardy justice of the French court.  When his suit became too urgent, he was told that he had offended the Most Christian King by attacking the fur posts under the protection of a friendly monarch, King Charles.  The hollowness of that excuse became apparent when the French government sanctioned the fitting out of two vessels for Radisson to go to Hudson Bay in the spring.  Lord Preston, the English ambassador, was also playing a double game.  He never ceased to reproach the French for the destruction of the fur posts on Hudson Bay.  At the same time he besieged Radisson with offers to return to the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

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Pathfinders of the West from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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