A new historical study
Fur War (1765-1840)
The Political, Economic, Cultural and Ecological Impacts of the Western Fur Trade
The quest for furs led to catastrophic impacts for the many First Nations who once called these lands home. Hunters were forced from their homes and died in accidents at sea and in battles. More than 100 epidemics swept through the region. The worst would often kill 50-90% of the people in tribal groups. The intermittent fever (malaria) of the 1830s was spread by the Hudson’s Bay Company trappers. It led to total devastation in parts of Oregon and California. This cleared the way for settlers but the disease would remain to torment and kill many gold seekers in California. The death of so many native people led to social disruption in even the strongest tribal groups. Many tribes and tribelets were gone before they were noted in a journal or placed on a map.