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French-American Traditional Culture: An Overview

Between Maine and California can be found over 3,000 French place names, testimony to the zeal and dynamic spirit of the early North American French. Their first permanent settlement was at Quebec in 1608, a year following the first permanent English settlement at) Jamestown, Virginia. Some were habitants (subsistence farmers), Catholic priests, and miners, but fully a third of them were full- or at least part-time fur-traders. This commerce dominated French interests in North America for 150 years. While the British colonists were still enclaved at the Atlantic Coast, the search for furs dispersed the French as far as the Rocky Mountains ...

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