BRUCE GREENFIELD Dalhousie University Creating the Distance of Print The Memoir of Peter Pond, Fur Trader In eighteenth-century Britain and its North American colonies, the publishing industry both throve upon and enabled European empires, facilitating and profiting from the flow of information between center and periphery. In the North American hinterlands, far from the urban centers where texts were published and from which they were diffused, the discourse of empire and colony that printed texts conveyed nonetheless held sway. In European metropolitan centers and in the port cities of North America, daily life bore little resemblance to that in a fur trader's shack, at a military outpost, or on a backwoods farm, yet the successes or failures of these traders, soldiers, and farmers were felt through the systems of commerce. Firsthand accounts of the remote interior of North American were valuable in several direct and indirect ways. Peter Pond's account of his exchange of goods with a group of Lakota Indians suggested, very concretely, an underserved market for English goods. Alexander Mackenzie's published Voyages (1801) projected a practicable transcontinental trading route linking an established fur trade directly with far eastern markets. Jonathan Carver's Travels (1778) claimed a similar
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Dec 5, 2002
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