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     The first white people who lived year-round in what is now Colorado were trappers and traders. The trappers set their own traps to catch beaver. The traders exchanged manufactured goods with Indians for furs from animals they had killed. Most of the trappers and traders worked either for Canadian or American fur companies.
     Fur trapping and trading with the Indians went hand in hand. Traders organized the trapping companies and supplied goods to both the trappers and to the Indians. Many Indian tribes in the region also participated in the fur trade. They provided furs, supplied traders and trappers with food, and served as guides and interpreters. Other tribes were hostile. They threatened the work of the traders and trappers at every turn.
A Mountain Man
Image Courtesy the Colorado Historical Society
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Funding for this project was provided in part by grants from
the Colorado Historical Society, State Historical Fund.

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