The Winners Write the History: The French-Canadian Archaeological Project in Oregon

Author(s): David Brauner

Year: 2014


The land based fur trade in the Pacific Northwest began in 1811 with the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Astor Company sold out to the Northwest Company in 1812 and with the merger of the Northwest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1821 the HBC became the dominant economic and political force in the Northwest until 1848. After 1848 the United States of America gained control of most of the Old Oregon Country. Young metis men from eastern Canada (called French or French-Canadians in most fur trade documents) hired by the fur trade companies married local Indian women, raised families, and after 1829 began to settle on farms in western Oregon. The agricultural industry in the Pacific Northwest can be attributed to these people. The metis population is however missing from the history books. Indeed, the decade of the 1830’s is missing from the history books Oregon history begins with the arrival of Americans over the Oregon Trail in 1843. The French-Canadian Archaeological Project has endeavored to reintroduce the true ethnic, settlement, and economic history of the Oregon Country during the 1830’s. Using archival and archaeological methods the vibrant culture and history of French Canadian/Native people in Oregon is beginning to emerge. Historical bias and myth is slowly being eroded away by reading the history below the sod.

Cite this Record

The Winners Write the History: The French-Canadian Archaeological Project in Oregon. David Brauner. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437163)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-61,12