Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"A Lasting Legacy in Canadian History" by Louis

Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medard Chouart des Groseilliers were two famous explorers that helped form the Hudson's Bay Company through strong leadership and courage. Radisson and Groseillier were known for creative problem solving and good negotiating skills. The Hudson's Bay Company was established throughout Montreal, the Great Lakes, the Hudson Bay area and the surrounding wilderness. Despite hardship and setbacks, such as being put in jail, they still perservered and created the oldest company in Canada.

Groseilliers was born in France and came to "New France" in 1642. His first trip with the fur trading company was a success. He and his brother-in-law, Radisson, were trying to find a route which would make fur trading in the north easier. He was fined and put in a jail for not having a license. After his release, he did not quit but continued to trade.

Radisson was not just Grosiellers brother-in-law but a loyal, lifelong business partner. He was 21 years old when he arrived in "New France" and lived at Trois Rivieres. Radisson spent most of his time exploring with "native allies" and also friends. He had been "captured by Iroquois raiders" and was held and tortured for years during his youth. Pierre Esprit Radisson seemed to be a stubborn, strong and brave individual.

These two explorers were sent by rich English investors to the Hudson Bay. These investors wanted to start a trading post. Rich people had pooled their money for this new company and our "oldest" company was born! King Charles II had promised these founders that they could be "Lords" of Rupert's Land. He had "forts, armies, founded colonies and waged wars" in order to create a powerful empire. It became a company with an empire "larger than Europe".

Grosiellers had brought the "English to Hudson Bay". Even though their family ties were from France, Radisson and Grosiellers didn't care about national loyalty but instead were focused on fur trading before anything else. The "wars with the Iroquois were ending" but not over and this made it difficult for these explorers to continue trade because of blocked trade routes causing them to have to travel around the battles. After the wars ended, trade began moving west once again. Radisson went back to New France and eventually died in London 1710. Groseillers started an "international trading network" and died in 1696. Together, Radisson and Groseillers started a lasting legacy in Canadian History almost 350 years ago.

("Adventurers, Hudson's Bay Company - the Epic Story", text by Christopher Moore; "Exploration, the Fur Trade and the Hudson's Bay Company", www.canadiana.org/hbc/person/groseilliers1_e.html)

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On the May Long Weekend, we visited the Glenbow Museum & downtown Calgary ...

Remember ...

After you click "play", you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them ...

View the Slideshow of Our Trip to the Museum below ....

After you press play, just click on each of the "small icon" pictures below and they will drop down for a full view ... Enjoy!

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Did You Know ?

Did you know that one of the most famous composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Back was born in 1685 and died in 1750 living during the same time as Radisson and Groseillers ? Take the quiz below and listen to some of his music ....

Bach Quiz