May 8, 2008


After the American Revolution (and probably before the war, too) the new world, from Virginia to Maine, was replete with wild animals. Tales of one, the beaver, are recorded in journals of French men exploring the country either after the American Revolution or while waiting out the French Revolution, between the 1780s and the 1790s. Surprisingly, this creature is credited with playing a role in American history.

The journal of Clermont-Crevecoeur, a French military officer assisting with the American Revolution, relates, about beavers in Virginia, that they were among the animals he located “but since they live in colonies and are very shy when hunted or when the virgin land where they live is cleared, they are rarely seen except in wild and uninhabited country.”

Park Holland, a surveyor of Maine lands, concurs. While he was explored Maine near an outlet of a large lake (possibly the Aroostook River headwaters), he wrote “We crossed a large beaver stream, and halted to examine the works of theses curious little animals. They had a large quantity of timber cut for completing a dam upon which they were evidently at work before (more…)

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