Joseph LaFramboise: a factor of treaties, trade, and culture

by Timmerman, Janet

Abstract (Summary)
Joseph LaFramboise’ life was the product of a rich milieu of ethnicities working, trading, and living together in the first half of the nineteenth century. His was a multi-cultural experience on the fur trade frontier. Born in 1805 and living through the first half of the nineteenth century, LaFramboise utilized multiple identities and strategies drawn from Odawa, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, and French Canadian cultures while integrating into the developing American identity. He maneuvered socially and economically during an unstable political period along the shifting margins between native and Euro-American cultures. His life-long vocation in the fur trade, and more specifically with the American Fur Company, was influenced by his family’s successful Michigan fur trade business, his friendships within the Company, and his experience as part of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota community. The fur trade afforded him both relational and economic ties to the Eastern Dakota bands of Minnesota and to the other trade families of the American Fur Company. The trade also placed him on the cusp of American exploration into the continent’s mid-section allowing his local knowledge, built up by years of traveling the interior, to inform the explorations and writings of people like George Catlin, Joseph Nicollet, and John C. Fremont. By mid-century, ironically, LaFramboise, who had spent a lifetime building multi-ethnic relationships, found himself increasingly bound by rigid ideas about race, brought on by expanding American settlement. His business decisions and his familial ones became driven more by the expectations of an advancing Euro-American society. Even so, those decisions carried the distinctive character of a man used to living in a culturally complex world.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kansas State University

School Location:USA - Kansas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:fur trade metis history united states 0337


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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