York Boats of the Hudson's Bay Company
Canada's Inland ArmadaBook - 2006
York Boats of the Hudson's Bay Company , Canada's Inland Armada tells the stories of men and boats that helped lay the foundations of Canada's western provinces and northern territories. Johnson's accomplishment serves to fill in a missing page in Canadian history - no other book tells in such detail and with such drama the history of this particularly Canadian mode of transportation and exploration.
Hardly the lighthearted story of a band of merry canoeists hauling goods from port to settlement, York Boats of the Hudson's Bay Company is about the "hardest work ever seen by human beings". A triumph of human ingenuity and strength against the most severe elements.
Johnson gives voice to the Metis, First Nations, French Canadians, and Orkneymen, who poled, sailed, rowed, and portaged the "newfangled boats with keels" up and down Canada's rivers. Through rapids, firestorms, freezing cold, and over impossible terrain, the York boatmen and guides worked themselves to the bone to deliver freight from York Factory on Hudson Bay to the scattered settlements within Rupert's Land. They also came to the aid of settlers, charted new territory, and found new resources throughout Canada's west and north.
With 57 archival images, 11 maps, and two appendices, illustrating the York Boat story, York Boats of the Hudson's Bay Company is not just history - it's armchair adventure.