Lewis O. Saum (essay date 1963)
SOURCE: Saum, Lewis O. “The Fur Trader and the Noble Savage”. American Quarterly 15 (1963): 554-71.
[In the following essay, Saum examines the writings of the fur traders of North America, many of which portray natives as being corrupted by European settlers.]
In narrating his experiences in the Far-North as trader and explorer, Samuel Hearne of the Hudson's Bay Company included a lengthy treatment of that fascinating animal, the beaver. In doing so, “honest old Hearne,” as a nineteenth-century bibliographer called him,1 felt the obligation to temper glowing accounts of the beaver written by people with inadequate knowledge. According to him, they...
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