Item FC 3212 K44 030.002 - 1692 Beaver note by Voyageur

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1692 Beaver note by Voyageur

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FC 3212 K44 030.002

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  • May 1, 1692 (Creation)

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24 cm x 10 cm note.

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A short note written in French.

Translation: "Gabriel Cardinal approves the obligation that Tetros and Cadieu, his friends, have undertaken towards Sieur Dufresne, in which he is responsible with them, this other than for what he has personally received, which is 42 livres 10 sols, which he promises to pay as his share of the partnership, in beaver at the price of the bureau. Drawn up this 1st of May, 1692."
Signed by Gabriel Cardinal (his mark and cross).

(witness certification) "I, the undersigned, certify that the said Cardinal gave me at Lachine, this note on which he has made his mark at the bottom, to be taken and used by Sieur Dufresne. This 1st of May, 1692."
Signed by Jean Arnaud.

(footnote) "The obligation is for 236 livres 1 sol." ('Obligation' possibly meaning 'the total debt for all partners.')

From notes provided by donor:

"A beaver note promising to pay the debt in 'beaver at the price of the bureau.' The 'bureau' was the appointed board of officials and traders in Quebec City that set the price of beaver, and in doing so set the value of the most important medium of exchange in New France, the beaver pelt.

Beaver notes, because they were secured by beaver skins at the price set by the bureau, often circulated amongst colonists due to the lack of hard currency. The notes were negotiable, and were considered money. Beaver notes are one of the earliest forms of paper currency in New France, pre-dating card money.

Gabriel Cardinal (1661 - ?) was a voyageur, and came from a family whose male members were primarily involved with the fur trade. He married in 1682.

Sieur Nicholas Jenvrin Dufresne (fl. 1690s-1700s) was a Montreal merchant.

Jean Arnaud (?-?) was a Church Warden of Montreal. He married in 1690."

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  • French

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