TRAPPER’S VIGNETTE by Carol Jones:
This scene created in a book shell depicts a glimpse into the Spartan life of the early trappers who worked for the Hudson Bay Company founded in 1670. At that time, Trade Posts were established from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and from the St. Lawrence to the Arctic.
Most trappers traveled and worked in companies. They were paid partly in goods and partly in tokens issued by HBC. These tokens were accepted as cash at any of the Company posts. First Nations people gathered furs and brought them to posts to trade for textiles, tools, guns, and other goods.
Those who weren’t company men were free trappers. A free trapper was a mountain man who, in today’s terms, would be called a free agent. He was independent and traded his pelts to whoever would pay him the best price