Here’s a craze for you — men of the 16th century. Sooooo macho!
Japanese women are turning into “history girls” idolizing men who they’re sure were strong, brave, manly. They’re buying books and comics, watching films, swooning over guys who were very definitely not herbivores, the slow-moving contemporary Japanese men so named because they are not interested in flesh, i.e. sex, and sex with women.
I can see the appeal. I’ve always thought the Voyageurs were pretty cool.
The Voyageurs arose during a time when most of the Midwest was under French control, and the territorial government in Montréal acted as a shipping hub and regulated the number of furs that passed through. To retain its value, beaver had to stay rare in Europe. Unfortunately, hundreds of coureurs du bois, or woodsmen fur smugglers, threatened to glut the market and drive down the price of beaver. So, to control trapping, Montréal issued permits to trading companies, allowing them to officially sponsor teams of traveling fur traders called Voyageurs.
Voyageur teams made their living paddling giant Montréal canoes across the Great Lakes and only slightly smaller North canoes up and down the Mississippi, Illinois and other rivers, trading axes, knives, beads, and other goods for beaver pelts. When loaded, these massive canoes could fit eight Voyageurs and up to 8,000 pounds of cargo! The Voyageurs not only had to navigate the rivers with this large load, but also carry both canoe and goods over the long overland portages between rivers. Compare the physically taxing Voyageur struggle over portages with today’s mechanical barges, locks, and dams. Learn about these technological advances and their historical context with a visit to Illinois Waterway Visitor’s Center along the Illinois River Road.
If you were going to date a guy from history, who would you pick?