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Firewater: The Impact of the Whiskey Trade on the Blackfoot Nation (edition 2002)
by Hugh Dempsey (Author)
Firewater by Hugh Dempsey
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Wikipedia in English (1)
"The whiskey brought among us by the Traders is fast killing us off and we are powerless before the evil...we are unable to pitch anywhere that the Trader cannot follow us." Chief Crowfoot Between 1870 and 1875, hundreds of Blackfoot Indians died as a result of the whisky trade, either killed in drunken quarrels, shot by whisky traders, frozen to death while drunk, or from the poisonous effects of the whisky itself. Chiefs lost their authority, people traded everything they owned, and entire communities were decimated. At first, alcohol was only available during visits to the Hudson's Bay or North West Company trading posts, but when Montana traders began to pour unlimited supplies of whisky into Blackfoot camps in exchange for buffalo robes, the Blackfoot were swept into a malestrom of alcohol, violence, and death. Historian Hugh Dempsey offers a comprehensive and highly readable look at the people and history of the trade, the impact on Native peoples, and its effect on US-Canada relations. He includes new research and a thoughtful exploration of the events and circumstances that brought a proud people to their knees. "...a wonderfully written, magisterial history...a study of significance and sympathy... "With grace, insight and clarity, Hugh Dempsey once again leads us into a more human, more personal reconsideration of the Blackfoot and that flamboyant, opportunistic transborder world formerly known as 'Whoop-Up Country.'" William E. Farr, Centre for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana "At last we have a history of the Whisky Trade in Southern Alberta from a Canadian perspective." John L. Tobias, Red Deer College
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An edition of this book was published by Fifth House Publishers.
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