Excerpt from Interview(11/08) with Loretta Metoxen, Historian
The fur trading era lasted a couple hundred years and the primary fur was beaver fur, although they did trade other kinds of pelts from smaller animals. The beaver pelt was a prime marketable item in Europe that everybody wore. The beaver pelts were mainly used for tall beaver hats that were coveted by all the European people. The traders were really the middlemen for the trading. The fur traders were mainly French but there were English and Dutch too. The French people were amenable to learning the tribal languages, dressing like tribal folks and marring tribal women so that they fit in very well. The voyageurs who manned the big boats that went up the rivers and the tributaries and lakes fit in well. Where as the English and the Dutch didn’t fit in as well. So the French were the main fur traders on this continent.