Author Robert Foxcurran to Discuss Fur Trade History at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on April 7

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Date: March 23, 2018
Contact: Mary Rose, Friends of Fort Vancouver, (360) 816-6216

On April 7, 2018, from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, author Robert Foxcurran will discuss his research, published in the book "Songs Upon the Rivers: The Buried History of the French-Speaking Canadiens and Métis from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi across to the Pacific." This event is hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver.

Pacific Northwest history was heavily influenced by French-speaking people. The Lewis and Clark Expedition included George Drouillard, Toussaint Charbonneau, Francois Labiche, Jean Baptiste Lapage, and Pierre Cruzatte. More French Canadian engagés were employed on the trek's earlier Missouri River segment. Many French speakers came to the Pacific Northwest at the invitation of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) as French trappers and traders, and later as agriculturalists and farms on HBC lands. In retirement, large numbers settled in the Willamette Valley. Catholic missions were founded by French-speaking priests and nuns. Today an abundance of French geographic names can be seen on Oregon and Washington maps. Robert Foxcurran's presentation will discuss some of this saga that is often overlooked as "nations are created through the burial of inconvenient history."

Robert Foxcurran co-authored the 2016 book Songs Upon the Rivers: The Buried History of the French-Speaking Canadiens and Métis from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi across to the Pacific. Foxcurran is a retired Boeing historian whose research interest includes the lesser-known demographics associated with the North American fur trade. His book, Songs Upon the Rivers, will be available for purchase at this event, which will include a book-signing afterwards.

About the Author: Robert Foxcurran
Author Robert Foxcurran worked at Boeing for 30 years on an assortment of military programs including jobs as an economic analyst and project historian, as well as a procurement agent. He was foreign industry liaison manager for NATO customer countries including Canada, France, Germany, and Norway.

The books and articles he has authored or co-authored include those on NATO project histories as well as the French Canadians and Métis in the American West. His research interests have shifted over the last 40 years from trans-national enterprise of the 20th century among NATO member states to the residual demographics associated with the North American fur trade through its trans-national employee base of Indians, Canadiens, and gens libres (free men).

What: Author talk and book signing with Robert Foxcurran

Where: Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, 1501 East Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661

When: April 7, 2018, 2 pm to 4 pm

Cost: Free

Last updated: March 23, 2018

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