Contested Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River by John Phillip Reid

By John Phillip Reid

Do legislation and criminal techniques exist purely as long as there's an reputable authority to implement them? Or will we have an unstated feel of legislation and ethics?

To solution those questions, John Phillip Reid’s Contested Empire explores the implicit notions of legislation shared by means of American and British fur investors within the Snake River state of Idaho and surrounding parts within the early 19th century. either the USA and nice Britain had claimed this area, and passions have been severe. Focusing in most cases on Canadian explorer and dealer Peter Skene Ogden, Reid unearths that either facet principally kept away from violence and different problems simply because they held a similar definitions of estate, agreement, conversion, and possession.

In 1824, the Hudson’s Bay corporation directed Ogden to decimate the furbearing animal inhabitants of the Snake River state, therefore marking the area a “fur desert.” With this mandate, nice Britain was hoping to neutralize any curiosity American furtrappers may have within the zone. this kind of mandate set British and American fur males on a collision direction, yet Ogden and his American opposite numbers implicitly a type of legislations and approach and saw a mutual experience of estate and rights while the 2 aspects vied for keep watch over of the fur trade.

Failing to take felony tradition into account, a few prior bills have depicted those conflicts as mere episodes of lawless frontier violence. Reid expands our realizing of the West by means of contemplating the unstated feel of legislation that existed, regardless of the inability of any formalized gurus, in what had differently been thought of a “lawless” time.

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Additional info for Contested Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River Expeditions

Example text

He expected the settlers would be farmers who would follow the route discovered and mapped by the fur trappers. If the trappers did not come, the farmers would not either. Hudson’s Bay people believed Oregon was too distant to be colonized by sea. The trip around the Cape of Good Hope was too dangerous and too expensive. But discovery of South Pass—just at the time Simpson was formulating the denuding policy—meant that Americans could come by land. The existence of South Pass also meant 42 CONTESTED EMPIRE that they could come with wagons hauling household goods and farm equipment, which would mean greater numbers than anyone would have expected if there were no South Pass.

Of course, we cannot be certain, but from the little evidence available they seem to have commenced their acts of harassment on their own authority and volition. ” Surely Simpson did not think they had been treated unfairly. He cared nothing about fairness. What concerned him was competition. By going to London, Ogden dramatically demonstrated his determination to remain in the fur trade. If he was not part of Hudson’s Bay Company, he most likely would go into opposition. But how? Hudson’s Bay Company was a statutory monopoly.

Grand Portage was the location of Fort William, the western headquarters of the North West Company, and Fidler was asserting that the harassment was official company policy. 11 After his service at Ile-à-la-Crosse, Ogden was made master of a post at Green Lake. Now, without any superior to report to, he became more bold and more menacing. 12 The Hudson’s Bay Company watched him closely and continued to keep a record of what he was doing. It was the strong hatred that Hudson’s Bay officers developed for him during this time that would come close to ending his career in the fur trade.

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