Coming to Trade by John Buxton
This painting could be the theme image for 16th, 17th
and 18th century French and native co-existence in North America.
The fur trade helped finance French expansion in the
new world and raise the standard of living for the native nations.
They no longer needed crude bows and arrows for hunting or stone
knives for skinning; the white man's musket enabled greater pelt
harvests. They clothed themselves in fabric and ribbons and silver.
The French traders, many of whom lived among the Indians, changed
as well. They more readily accepted native culture and custom than
did their English counterparts and often it was difficult to distinguish
a Frenchman from his allied native.
The Jesuit priests were not quite as successful in
transforming natives into Frenchmen.