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The Fur Trade in Wisconsin


The Fur Trade in Wisconsin
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.2

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    mink, muskrat, such, trade, valuable, journey, beaver, otter, large, history, trapped, american, business, goods, government, quality
     content words:    Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Many French, Some Indians, Northwest Fur Company, Bay Company, Fur Company


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The Fur Trade in Wisconsin   

1     Why was the fur trade such a large part of Wisconsin's history? It was responsible for bringing many European explorers to the state. As early as 1654, French explorers came to Wisconsin looking for furs. They found many fur-bearing animals in Wisconsin. Wisconsin was the best place in the new country for furs. Beaver skins brought in the best prices, and there were plenty of beavers to be found there. The explorers sent word back to their families and friends about the wonderful land between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Because of these stories, many French and English settlers came to Wisconsin looking for furs. Some chose to stay.
 
2     When the Europeans came, they brought steel knives and tools to trade with the Indians for furs. These trades were the first time the Indians did any kind of business with Europeans. This trading had a great impact on both the Europeans and the Indians. Because the furs were so valuable, the Indians hunted and trapped even more so that they could trade with the Europeans.
 
3     The French were the first Europeans to be involved in the fur trade in Wisconsin. The French became a part of the Indians' lives in Wisconsin. Many French fur traders married Indian women and had families. Their children grew up to be traders who could speak both French and Indian languages.

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