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Word Count: 1,064
When the Europeans came to America there were fur-bearings animals everywhere The best quality of furs came from the north the reason why is because in the north the animals needed a thicker coat to protect themselves from the harsher winter The Indians were only hunting the fur-bearing animals for food and for the fur for clothing but since they didnt hunt them for sport the population of the animals remained fairly steady Later on when the Europeans arrived they wanted as many furs as they could get and soon after the population of animals declined greatly in many areas The earliest fur traders in North America were French explorers and fishermen who arrived in what is now Eastern Canada during the early 1500s Trade started after the French offered the Indians kettles knives and other gifts as a means to establish friendly relations The Indians in turn gave pelts to the French By the late 1500s a great demand for fur had developed in Europe This demand encouraged further exploration of North America The demand for beaver increased rapidly in the early 1600s when fashionable European men began to wear felt hats made from beaver fur Such furs as fox marten mink and otter also were traded In 1608 the French explorer Samuel de Champlain established a trading post on the site of the present-day city Quebec The city became fur-trading centre The French expanded their trading activities along the St Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes They eventually controlled most of the early fur trade in what became Canada The French traders obtained furs from the Huron Indians and later from the Ottawa These tribes were not trappers but they acquired the furs from other Indians The French also developed the fur trade along the Mississippi River There was a great chain of people who were involved in the fur-trade and everyone had a different task to
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