The American Fur Company's Industrial Fishing Experiment On Isle Royale

Author(s): Brendan J. Doucet

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Working on the 19th-Century" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The American Fur Company was in decline by the 1830’s as fashion trends shifted in Europe. To diversify, the AFC expanded into the fishing industry in Lake Superior. This paper focuses on the understudied history of the AFC and early industrial fishing on Isle Royale. Fishing operations took place on the island from 1837-1841. Industrial fishing operations relied on traditional Ojibwe, whose knowledge informed where to establish the company’s camps and concentrate fishing activities. Data collected during archival research and field work on Isle Royale in the summer of 2018 speaks to the use of this knowledge and the attitudes the company held towards workers of native descent. Despite the capitalistic exploitation of native workers and success catching fish, the AFC’s inability to profitably market salted fish rapidly contributed to the company’s liquidation.

Cite this Record

The American Fur Company's Industrial Fishing Experiment On Isle Royale. Brendan J. Doucet. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449143)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 442