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Masters and Servants : The Hudson's Bay Company and Its North American Workforce, 1668–1786

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    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      “[Stephen] offers fresh insight into the path a historic fur trading business took to become one of Canada's most recognizable retailers.” —Literary Review of CanadaIn Masters and Servants, Scott P. Stephen reveals startling truths about Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) workers. Rather than dedicating themselves body and soul to the Company's interests, these men were hired like domestic servants, joining a “household” with its attendant norms of duty and loyalty. The household system produced a remarkably stable political-economic entity, connecting early North American resource extraction to larger trends in British imperialism. Through painstaking research, Stephen shines welcome light on the lives of these largely overlooked individuals. An essential book for labor historians, Masters and Servants will appeal to scholars of early modern Britain, the North American fur trade, Western social history, business history, and anyone intrigued by the reach of the HBC.“Blacksmiths, bookkeepers, loggers, tanners, coopers, cooks, sail-makers, interpreters, surveyors, clergy, the list goes on as Stephen marches us through the lives of the early Hudson's Bay worker.” —The Ormsby Review“Overall, the book reflects the work of a historian comfortable with the hard work of archival research and with an eye for detail and insightful quotations. In many respects, it does for Hudson's Bay Company employees what Carolyn Podruchny's Making the Voyageur World did for employees of the Montreal-based fur trade companies in recreating their values, worldview, and distinctive work environment.” —Michael Payne, Prairie History
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