Keywords: Fur trade
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Contributed by: D'Anne Baillargeon through Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library
Date: circa 1895
Media: Glass Negative
Contributed by: Waterford Historical Society
Date: circa 1910
Media: Photographic print
When Europeans arrived in North America and disrupted traditional Native American patterns of life, they also offered other opportunities: trade goods for furs. The fur trade had mixed results for the Wabanaki.
Britain was especially interested in occupying Maine during the Colonial era to take advantage of the timber resources. The tall, straight, old growth white pines were perfect for ships' masts to help supply the growing Royal Navy.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.
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The interests of the Plymouth men were entirely commercial; the sale of the furs would help to retire debts they owed to England.
The fur trade caused intense competition among native people for access to European goods such as copper kettles, iron axes, knives, and firearms.
… traded with the native peoples, especially for furs, but relations with area bands were uneasy. The settlers encroached on the native hunting…