Historical Events

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Stefansson talks about Mr. Thomas Anderson of the Hudson Bay Company "much of his talk concerned the degenerate later days when people insisted on living on such imported things as beans, canned corn, and tomatoes, whereas in his day they lived entirely on fish and caribou meat."

June 1, 1906

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My Life with the Eskimo - Chapter 3

Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Man The Fat Hunter
Facultative Carnivore
Eskimo
Carnivore Diet

On my first trip down the Mackenzie River all of the affairs of the Company had been under the direction of Mr. Thomas Anderson, an energetic and capable officer of the old school. He was a man generous to a fault with his own property, as I have good reason to know through being with him in Winnipeg and Edmonton, but as soon as he got into the North where everything he handled belonged to the Company rather than to himself, he became parsimonious even to niggardliness ; and much of his talk concerned the degenerate later days when people insisted on living on such imported things as beans, canned corn, and tomatoes, whereas in his day they lived entirely on fish and caribou meat. Now everything was changed. Not only had the modern Mackenzie River replaced the old - fashioned Wrigley, but Thomas Anderson had died, and the affairs of the Company were under the no less energetic but completely modern direction of Mr. Brabant. I remember how, in 1906, Mr. Anderson boiled with indignation at having to carry one of the servants of the Hislop & Nagle Trading Company as a passenger for sixty miles from Red River to Macpherson, and he spoke with suppressed fury of the degenerate officials at Winnipeg who compelled him to countenance such things; and now we had in his stead Mr. Brabant, who would have been the better pleased the more of his rivals' men he could have carried, providing, of course, they paid him fares for transportation which yielded a profit to the Company. The change had been gradually taking place, but with the coming of Mr. Brabant the transformation was complete, from the old policy of exclusion of competitors to the modern one of unrestricted competition.