The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire
by Stephen R. Bown
Reviewed By Barry Mutter
Stephen Bown has once again written a captivating book. Canadians who are interested in the early development of our country cannot help but to be absorbed by the people who have worked with the Company. The voyageurs and their indigenous partners braved the rigours of a foreboding land to trade and prosper. The mapmakers plotted routes throughout the North and the West. The company officials that controlled the trade in “Rupert’s Land” were multi-faceted. Some were respected and some were despised. The legacy they left still reflects that.
Many Canadians today have yet to witness the marvels of “Rupert’s Land”. Our country is vast and our climate is harsh. The 150 year existence of HBC would not have occurred without the assistance of the original people. They had lived on the land for thousands of years. Raddison, Hearn, Mackenzie, Thompson, Simpson, and all HBC employees relied on the skill and the bravery of the indigenous tribes. How were they treated? Was the prosperity of the Company shared with its employees? What is the legacy of the corporation we know as the Hudson’s Bay Company? Read this book. It will hold your attention.
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