Voyageur’s Blog

Ask a voyageur a question

Here’s a blog to answer your questions, like what was life like during the 1800s in French Canada? Like who could or couldn’t be a voyageur? How big the canoes were? What trade goods they carried? What different furs were worth? What they used for medicine? I’ll answer these and more in the “A Voyageur’s Life” blog. Click on the button below to ask your question or go to the “Contact” section of this site — I’ll find the answers.

Help wanted: Voyageurs!

Voyageurs were hardy men who paddled birch bark canoes and portaged trade goods for the fur trade from Montreal or from the hinterlands from the mid 1600s -1800s. Guides, interpreters and steersmen had the highest skills. They rarely rose in the job hierarchy.

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Voyageurs had pensions?!

Some old voyageurs received monies from a pension fund. Wonder what that means? You can check family ancestry to see what voyageurs they earned and where they wintered. They often paid in a percent — did they ever collect a benefit?

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What happens when voyageurs met Quakers?

In her novel “Voyageurs,” Margaret Elphinstone weaves a story that places an English Quaker on a fur trade canoe brigade in order to search for his missing sister. Dissimilar groups with opposing agendas always make for great reading.

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Nikki Rajala - Author No wonder Nikki Rajala writes about voyageurs—her French-Canadian ancestors paddled birch bark canoes on many fur trade brigades. One great-great wintered for 16 years in fur posts west of Lake Superior and threads of family stories infuse this book. On Girl Scout canoe expeditions as a teen, she explored Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park. Nikki loves rendezvous re-enactments, reading fur trade journals, visiting museums, tasting voyageur foods.

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