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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: coureurs de bois (Fr.)

Definition: literally, "forest rangers"; unlicensed traders who carried French goods into the wilderness to trade with the Indians for furs; 400-800 were estimated to be in the western Great Lakes during the 1670's.

[Source: McDermott, John Francis. A glossary of Mississippi Valley French, 1673-1850 (St. Louis: 1941). Also see Lahontan, Louis. New Voyages to North-America... (London, 1703) at Turning Points in Wis. History (]
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