Contested Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River by John Phillip Reid

By John Phillip Reid

Do legislations and criminal strategies exist in basic terms as long as there's an reliable authority to implement them? Or can we have an unstated experience of legislations and ethics?

To resolution those questions, John Phillip Reid’s Contested Empire explores the implicit notions of legislations shared via American and British fur investors within the Snake River kingdom of Idaho and surrounding components within the early 19th century. either the U.S. and nice Britain had claimed this quarter, and passions have been extreme. Focusing frequently on Canadian explorer and dealer Peter Skene Ogden, Reid unearths that either facet mostly kept away from violence and different problems simply because they held an identical definitions of estate, agreement, conversion, and possession.

In 1824, the Hudson’s Bay corporation directed Ogden to decimate the furbearing animal inhabitants of the Snake River nation, hence marking the sector a “fur desert.” With this mandate, nice Britain was hoping to neutralize any curiosity American furtrappers can have within the region. this sort of mandate set British and American fur males on a collision path, yet Ogden and his American opposite numbers implicitly one of those legislation and process and saw a mutual experience of estate and rights at the same time the 2 facets vied for keep watch over of the fur trade.

Failing to take criminal tradition into account, a few earlier bills have depicted those conflicts as mere episodes of lawless frontier violence. Reid expands our realizing of the West via contemplating the unstated feel of legislation that existed, regardless of the shortcoming of any formalized professionals, in what had in a different way been thought of a “lawless” time.

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Extra resources for Contested Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River Expeditions

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The soft Blue Mountains whose summits are above the clouds and the wide extending plains 38 CONTESTED EMPIRE with the majestic waters in endless sinuosities fertilizing with their tributary streams, a spacious land of green meadows. 5 George Simpson planned Ogden’s first expedition. He was implementing the suggestions of Alexander Ross and Chief Factor Alexander Kennedy. The year before, Simpson had ordered Ross to begin the Snake country expedition from the Flathead Post in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains during February and to return to the Flatheads the following November.

O]ur general instructions recommend that every effort be made to lay waste the country,” he wrote.

But discovery of South Pass—just at the time Simpson was formulating the denuding policy—meant that Americans could come by land. The existence of South Pass also meant 42 CONTESTED EMPIRE that they could come with wagons hauling household goods and farm equipment, which would mean greater numbers than anyone would have expected if there were no South Pass. That was Hudson’s Bay’s greatest fear, settlement by substantial numbers of farmers with families. There was a theory prevalent among Hudson’s Bay officers that the company could not remain once the land was populated with people, houses, and planted fields.

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