Who were the Coureur des bois?
The coureurs des bois (French pronunciation: [kuʁœʁ de bwa], runners of the woods) were French-Canadian woodsmen, who travelled to the interior of North America to engage in the fur trade without permission from the French authorities. A Coureur de Bois was an adventurer, expert canoeist, and skilled businessmen. The coureurs de bois, mostly of French descent, operated during the late 17th century and early 18th century in eastern North America, particularly in New France. Later, a limited number of permits were issued to coureurs des bois who became known as voyageurs.