On May 2, 1670, King Charles II of England granted a royal charter to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay.” The business, founded in what is today Canada, quickly became the Hudson’s Bay Company, and today is the oldest still-operating company in North America.The Hudson’s Bay Company was founded by French fur trappers—unlicensed “coureurs des bois” who worked with native Cree hunters to collect lucrative beaver, deer, and ermine pelts. Unable to secure financing from French or British-American sources, they were chartered by the British government.The Hudson’s Bay Company was originally given a charter for the entire Hudson Bay watershed, about 3.9 million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles). A series of forts around its namesake bay did a brisk trade in furs, beads, and utensils such as knives and kettles. In 1780, the company introduced the boldly striped “point blankets” for which it became known. By this time, the company realized its future was not in furs, but in trade itself. It quickly redefined itself as a retail supplier for Canada’s urbanizing interior.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry bay Noun
body of water partially surrounded by land, usually with a wide mouth to a larger body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: bay brisk Adjective
busy and quick.
sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.
document that outlines rules for how a state or other organization will be organized.
business made up of a group of stockholders, or people who own interest in the business.
coureur des bois Noun
unlicensed, independent French-Canadian fur trapper of the 17th-18th century.
a project, usually one seeking a profit.
military outpost, area, or set of buildings.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
profitable or money-making.
animal skin or fur.
to identify or organize in a different manner.
having to do with the sale of finished goods to consumers.
having to do with a monarchy.
buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.
having to do with city life.
tool or instrument for preparing or eating food.
entire river system or an area drained by a river and its tributaries.
Encyclopedic Entry: watershed