A New Nation Comes to the Indian Country
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Fur Trade Economy

The market for beaver pelts drew fur traders to the West and transformed the fur business into a transcontinental industry. In the first years of the nineteenth century, mountain men were astonished at the size of the western beaver population and delighted that the animal could be hunted year round.

Within a generation, however, the animal had grown scarce. By this point, the tribes had grown completely dependent on this new economy. Unable to retire from the market, Native hunters shifted to buffalo hunting to sustain themselves.

John James Audubon and John Bachman. “Beaver,” from Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, 1846-1854.

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