Our November presenter was Chip Gliedman, on the topic: “Early fur trade mail in the US and Canada (1822-1871).” His fascinating talk was based on his exhibit of special mail routes of Rupert’s Land and the Red River Valley, which focused on the mail routes organized by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Chip provided us with a great deal of information on the history of this vast and remote area in the central and western part of Canada. Importantly, who showed how the various special mail routes connected with the U.S. mails at different points. The colorful maps provided with many of these covers were very helpful in understanding these special routes.
Many of the covers shown were sent via canoe mail, in many cases taking months or even a year to reach their destination. One of the covers was marked with a manuscript cancel (Red River, BNA) within a crude circle, that was likely traced by a coin or token (one of 9 known examples.) Others included a mourning cover sent to England from the Red River settlement in 1853, and a pair of three-cent #65 on a cover send from Pembina, Dakota territory to Quebec.