Coureurs des Bois


The Coureurs des Bois or Voyageurs is the name given to the men who engaged in the fur trade directly with the Amerindians in North America from the time of New France up through the 19th century, when much of the continent was still mostly covered by wilderness.

Some coureurs des bois became famous, like Étienne Brulé, Louis Joliet, Médard des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson (who felt abused by the local French elite and worked against them), Jean Nicolet, Guillaume Couture, and La Vérendrye. The coureur des bois is a legendary character in the culture of French Canada and continues to be a subject of inspiration today.

Actually, the Coureurs des Bois were considered to be outlaws as they usually engaged in the fur trade on their own and were not contractually engaged as were the Voyageurs.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
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