Hudson's Bay Company papers  1775-1914 (bulk 1775-ca. 1790)
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The Hudson's Bay Company was founded on May 2, 1670, when the company, under Prince Rupert, obtained a royal charter from King Charles II, which established the company as a legal entity, granting them exclusive trading rights and authority over the drainage area of the Hudson Bay basin. This joint-stock company had a centralized bureaucracy that elected a governor to manage the corporation. The chief factor and his officials produced reports and accounts that were sent back to London for review. The focus of the company was trading fur, which, at that time, was abundant in the region. They exchanged manufactured goods with the native population in exchange for furs, which they then sent to England and Europe. After the Treaty of Paris (1763), in which the British gained control of Canada from the French, the Company expanded from posts along the coasts of the Hudson and James Bays into deeper land-based outposts. By 1774, they had established Cumberland House on the Saskatchewan River, and over the next 40 years continued to expand in order to compete with an increasing number of fur trading competitors such as the North West Company, American Fur Company, and the Revillon Frères. During the 19th century, the Hudson's Bay Company continued trading fur, but expanded into other retail markets such as food and liquor, and today it supplies major retail channels throughout Canada.