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402 The Canadian Historical Review of its territory. This study also helps to rescue the HBC from the stereotypes that have hindered examination ofthe company's history by showing that it was not just a collection of fur traders and picturesque voyageurs, but an enterprise which, like any other, sought out sources of profit wherever it could find them. Still, this analysis remains very much an examination of the company 's operations as they were viewed and carried out by its managers, and it does not entirely escape from older interpretations of the company's history. Mackie does devote a chapter to the significance of the Natives to the company's success. The Aboriginal population was indispensable. It provided provisions, commodities for export, and labour, and all at a cost so low that company officers were regularly moved to comment on what a bargain they were getting. Some ofthese workers were slaves, who .were purchased from local Native populations , among whom slavery was common, or who sometimes came with the wives of company traders. Mackie does not overlook the fact that the country's Aboriginal inhabitants were crucial to the HBc's success and that they were not simply part ofthe landscape, though his discussion makes clear that the economic partnership that developed in the West was, like the one in Rupert's Land, an unequal one that eventually undermined Native cultures. Mackie's discussion of the company fails to remedy a common problem among histories of the HBC - the neglect of the HBc's nonNative workers. Mackie does point out that as the company diversified, the 'diverse workforce of a nineteenth-century commercial economy was superimposed on an eighteentli-century fur trade' (317). In fact, except for engineering, the skilled trades Mackie lists as new additions had been performed in the HBC for well over a century. Greater discussion of the HBc's workers, how they fitted into the company's plans and how they responded to their employer's policies, would have added an important dimension to this otherwise thorough account. EDITH I. BURLEY Winnipeg A Stranger to the Fur Trade: Joseph Wrigley and the Transformation ofthe Hudson's Bay Company, 1884-1891. ELEANOR STARDOM. Winnipeg: Rupert's Land Research Centre 1996. Pp. iv, 109. $30.00 Over the years the Rupert's Land Research Centre has published a number of useful monographs relating to aspects of fur trade history. It has provided a valuable service in making available to a wider public Book Reviews 403 MA and PHD studies that might otherwise have seen only limited circulation . Eleanor Stardom's revised MA thesis is a worthwhile addition to this publication series. Stardom provides a succinct account of Joseph Wrigley's troubled tenure as a high-ranking supervisor of the Hudson's Bay Company's Canadian retail and fur-trading operations in the later 1880s. In a straightforward manner she chronicles the challenges Wrigley faced, his successes, and the circumstances that led to his forced retirement. By the end of this short but packed monograph, the reader has been presented with a detailed look at the inner workings of the HBC's Canadian operations in the waning years of the nineteenth century. Stardom argues that such an examination is warranted because Wrigley's tenure coincided with a time of major 'transformation' within the company. Historians often use this rationale as a justification for their research and publications. What did this particular transformation consist of? Wrigley was the first high-ranking HBC manager to have a background in general retail operations as opposed to the collection and sale of furs. That appointment marked a major change in emphasis , a dramatic move to diversification of the company's operations. Wrigley worked to effect change not simply by adding new types of business to the company's operations but by 'modernizing' the running of the fur trade itself. In fact, and somewhat ironically, it was in the latter area that he effected his most successful changes. The strong and protracted opposition from the commissioned officers who oversaw the management of the local fur-trading posts provides ample testimony to the fundamental changes Wrigley put forward. First and foremost among those changes...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 402-404
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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