Coureur des Bois

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

With French colonization of The ''New World'' (North America), came Settlers, Soldiers and Explorers. One such early ''Explorer'' turned Trader, were The Coureur des Bois'' or ''Runner of Woods''. These were French-Canadian Fur Trappers, anxious on capitalizing on Beaver Pelts (an exportable commodity to Europe in the 17th Century). The Coureur des Bois were ''rugged Men'', who had adapted to the often harsh environment of Canada and The American far North Regions. Such tough in fact, the ''average'' Settler dared not go (for fear of Native American attack or harsh Winter conditions).


The ''Wood Runners'' learned the ways and language of the local Tribes – developing their Trade and hunting practices regarding trapping Beavers. Often, they paid for such skins (pelts) after establishing themselves with said Tribes. In the beginning, The Coureurs were met with suspicion and attacks by the many Tribes. Later, a somewhat ''trust'' was established (often spurred by the inter-marriage of them with Native American women). The ''Wood Runners'' would migrate into what would later become the Northern portion of The United States. Many would evolve into that iconic (and still in existence) ''Mountain Man''.


The Coureur des Bois would become valuable with regards to being used as Scout and translators for The French Army in their occupations of ''New France'' (Canada). Their knowledge was also seen in their learning of specific Native American War tactics, which would translate well when The French and Indian Wars (against England) began in the 1750s.