Timothy J. Kent
Historical Author, Paddler, and Reenactor

 

 

 

 

 

Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade
By
Timothy J. Kent

ISBN: 0-9657230-0-3

Birchbark canoes

Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade is an invaluable resource for those interested in North American history, the fur trade, canoes, early exploration, the traditional life ways of Native America people, early military transport, and sailing craft. The core of the book is based on the author's discovery of eight surviving original voyaging canoes of the nineteenth century, four in full size and four miniature models. These historical treasures, representing both freight canoes and express canoes, are preserved in museum collections in England, Canada, and the United States.

The author provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of each element of these canoes, which contain a number of previously unreported features as well as authentic period repairs of the bark cover and wooden elements. Also included is a reexamination and expansion of all the fur trade materials in the classic work by Adney and Chapelle. This is necessary in light of the newly-discovered original specimens, as well as numerous new historical resources, of which both Adney and Chapelle were unaware.

In addition, the book contains extensive chapters on the origins, manufacture, decoration, usage, sailing, portaging, repair, storage, equipment, and cargoes of voyaging canoes. A great deal of this material pertains to the 17th and 18th century French era of the trade. Based on unpublished record books and documents of French outfitters, traders, and travelers, as well as numerous other early documents, much of this material has never before been published.

This work is copiously illustrated with over one hundred fifty contemporary and early photographs, some two hundred line drawings, and reproductions of numerous art works of the fur trade period. Many of the photographs and art works are presented in full color. The book contains 686 pages in two volumes, in a large 8.5x11 inch format, with heavy soft covers and perfect binding.

"An invaluable source for amateur and professional historians, museums and historical sites, authors and re-enactors. These volumes will significantly ease the labors of anyone interested in furthering his knowledge and appreciation of the great bark canoes of North America. A major reference work for amateur and professional alike."-Ralph Frese, premier canoe historian, designer, and builder