I just read “The Hudson Bay Company and the American Indians,” a three-part series Alvin originally published in 1971 in The Westerners: New York Posse BrandBook (I love the Westerners! See November 2010 post) that was reprinted with color photography as “By Fayre and Gentle Meanes,” in American West Magazine.
Fayre and gentle was how the Hudson’s Bay company men were supposed to treat, or “Draw downe the Indians” to their purpose. Their purpose was the acquisition of furs. Alvin says that the company did not come to “conquer or dispossess the Indians. It did not covet their land, hunting grounds, or fishing stations. It did not mean to disrupt them or undermine their beliefs, destroy their means of existence, shatter their organizations and ways of life, or change them into white men… It was a commercial enterprise, in business to make a profit by buying furs peacefully from the natives at prices that would bring the highest Read The Article