• Creator
  • Illinois Heritage Association
  • Created Date
  • 6-3-00
  • Description
  • Drawing by Frederic Remington. Paper birch trees grow well in the cool climate of the upper Great Lakes. The bark, which peels off in large sheets, can be used to make canoes. Birch bark canoes were widely used by Native Americans and voyageurs in the Great Lakes and Canada. The canoes carried from eight to fourteen men, plus thousands of pounds of cargo. In the American Bottom and the lower Mississippi dugout canoes (pirogues) made of hollowe... more
    Drawing by Frederic Remington. Paper birch trees grow well in the cool climate of the upper Great Lakes. The bark, which peels off in large sheets, can be used to make canoes. Birch bark canoes were widely used by Native Americans and voyageurs in the Great Lakes and Canada. The canoes carried from eight to fourteen men, plus thousands of pounds of cargo. In the American Bottom and the lower Mississippi dugout canoes (pirogues) made of hollowed-out logs were far more common than the birch bark type. These were sturdier and less likely to be punctured by floating debris. Some of the dugout canoes were very large and quite heavy, but on the Mississippi River there was little need to portage. The dugout canoes, and even bigger flat-bottomed boats (bateux), carried cargo downriver and returned with goods for the early settlers. The trip down the Mississippi from the American Bottom to New Orleans took about two-to-three weeks, but the return trip took several months. French in Illinois; Settling in the Midwest. 16 History; 15 Economics; 17 Geography. less
  • Format
  • IHA00005.jpg