image
image

image
image
 

Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

The success of this voyage opened the way for the organization of the Hudson's Bay Company, which occurred in 1670 under a charter from King Charles II. An extraordinary feature of this charter was that it conferred not merely the exclusive rights of trade in peltries and other articles of merchandise, but conveyed to the company as absolute proprietors a vast territory called Rupert's land, equal to a fourth of the whole of North America. That this was so was established early in the last century, when the company sold to the Earl of Selkirk a tract greater in extent than the whole of England and Scotland, which conveyance was subsequently confirmed by the highest legal authorities in England. Even more astonishing was the conferring upon the company the absolute sovereignty over its possessions, with the right to make and enforce laws and to administer justice. It had the rights of war and peace and to make treaties with any prince or people not Christians, to send ships of war with men and ammunition into its possessions and to appoint commanders and officers. In short, it was an empire, with an imperial domain, and equipped with all the powers and prerogatives of an absolute monarchy, yet organized for the sole purpose of trade and the profit of its individual stockholders. It was the most gigantic monopoly in history. That its promoters did not take the utmost advantage of it, according to the modern fashion, speaks well for the self-restraint and sense of honor of which the English race has furnished more than one noted example.
It may well be supposed that all these things going on in England and elsewhere were watched by the French with a jealous eye. When Radisson and Groseilliers returned from their extended western expedition heavily laden with valuable furs and were roundly fined on a technicality the French government made a serious mistake to penalize them as it did.

Michigan


Page 15


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
 






Please help us keep this site online and to continue to bring sites like this one.
Thank you



image
image
image

Site Map | Chapter Index | MICHIGAN
Saginaw ValleyII | Lucius Lyon | Michigan 1-5 | Michigan 6 | Michigan 7 | Michigan 8 | Michigan 9 | Michigan 19 | Michigan 11 | Michigan 12 | Michigan 13 | Michigan 14 | Michigan 15 | Michigan 16 | Michigan 17 |Indian Doctor | Reminiscences | 1787 | Questions | Settlement | Yerks
image