The hunter who told me this could remember one Sam Nutting, who used to hunt bears on Fair Haven Ledges, and exchange their skins for rum in Concord village; who told him, even, that he had seen a moose there.
Perhaps for ingenuity and the latest methods of manipulating skins in the manufacturing of furs the Americans lead the way, but as fur cutters are more or less of a roving and cosmopolitan character the larger fur businesses in London, Berlin, Vienna, St Petersburg, Paris and New York are guided by the same thorough and comparatively advanced principles.
Of course there are many transactions, generally in the cheaper and coarser kinds of furs, used only in central Europe, Russia and Asia which in no way interest the London market, and there are many direct consignments of skins from collectors in America and Russia to London, New York and Leipzig merchants.
The history of furs can be read in Marco Polo, as he grows eloquent with the description of the rich skins of the khan of Tatary; in the early fathers of the church, who lament their introduction into Rome and Byzantium as an evidence of barbaric and debasing luxury; in the political history of Russia, stretching out a powerful arm over Siberia to secure her rich treasures; in the story of the French occupation of Canada, and the ascent of the St Lawrence to Lake Superior, and the subsequent contest to retain possession against England; in the history of early settlements of New England, New York and Virginia; in Irving's Astoria; in the records of the Hudson's Bay Company; and in the annals of the fairs held at Nizhniy Novgorod and Leipzig.
These men, who under the leadership of the tall lad were drinking in the dramshop that morning, had brought the publican some skins from the factory and for this had had drink served them.
According to Diiben the name first occurs in the 13th century - in the Fundinn Noregr, composed about 1200, in Saxo Grammaticus, and in a papal bull of date 1230; but the people are probably to be identified with those Finns of Tacitus whom he describes as wild hunters with skins for clothing and rude huts as only means of shelter, and certainly with the Skrithiphinoi of Procopius (Goth.
The very finest skins are chiefly used for stoles and muffs, and the general run for coachmen's capes and carriage rugs, which are very handsome when the tails, which are marked with rings of dark and light fur alternately, are left on.
At the marriage of Pirithous to Hippodamia (or Deidamia) a fight broke out between the Lapiths and Centaurs, in which the Lapiths, assisted by Theseus, were victorious, and drove the 1 The Ostiaks of Siberia have an elaborate crane dance, in which the dancers are dressed up with skins and the heads of cranes (P. S.
Besides coffee there is a large trade in durra, the kat plant (used by the Mahommedans as a drug), ghee, cattle, mules and camels, skins and hides, ivory and gums. The import trade is largely in cotton goods, but every kind of merchandise is included.
In Northern Nigeria up to the moment of the British occupation the foreign trade was chiefly in the hands of Tripoli Arabs whose caravans crossed the desert at great risk and expense, and carried to the markets of Kuka and Kano tea, sugar and other European goods, taking away the skins and feathers which constituted the principal articles of export to the Mediterranean coast.