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Fur-trade. While the English-American colonies remained dependents of Great Britain, they derived very little advantage from the extensive fur-trade with the Indians, for the Hudson Bay Company absorbed nearly the whole of the traffic. It was contention between the French and English colonists for the control of this trade t
In 1784 John Jacob Astor (q. v.), an enterprising young German merchant of New York, embarked in the fur-trade.
He purchased furs in Montreal and sold them in England; after the treaty of 1795 he shipped them to different European ports.
In this trade, chiefly, he amassed a fortune of $250,000, when he embarked in a scheme for ian sealing-vessels were, for several years, illegally engaged in the indiscriminate slaughter of the seals, threatening their extinction.
In 1889 some of these vessels were seized by United States revenue cutters, thus giving rise to the Bering Sea controversy with Great Britain.
See Alaska; Anglo-American commission; fisheries.