During these six years of conflict, 317 men from Kahnawake were hired either as summer men or as multi-year winterers principally by the NWC but also by the rival XYC. (38)
(41) By 1802 over 250 Indians, a majority of them Mohawk but also including some Nipissing and Algonquin, had travelled into the Northwest with NWC or XYC canoe brigades to trap in what is now northern Alberta.
These men were recruited over a period of weeks but signed a collective two-year group contract to trap in the Northwest, XYC representative Daniel Sutherland hired them, using the offices of Montreal notary J.G.
This influx of eastern Native migrants grew in the opening years of the nineteenth century, HBC trader William Tomison, working in the Saskatchewan district in 1801-1802, lamented the impact of the Mohawk presence, noting that by the summer of 1801 the NWC and the XYC had brought in more than three hundred "Eroquees or Mohawk Indians" on three-year contracts.
At the conclusion of the NWC and XYC fur trade war in November 1804, several hundred men, now deemed redundant, were let go.
While a trial court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that XYC
had no duty to report the employee's activities to authorities, the New Jersey appellate court reversed the decision.
Daniel Sutherland of the XYC instructed his recruiting agent in Montreal, St.
(76) After the 1804 merger of the XYC and NWC, the bourgeois decided to restrict private trade to increase profitability in the newly reformed company.
(80) Men also deserted when they thought their lives might be in danger, as was the case in March 1805, when servants of both the NWC and XYC ran off from the fishery at Lac La Pluie because they feared the Native people there wanted to kill them.
As a new clerk in the XYC, George Nelson was instructed to provide any trade goods his men might ask for, and to encourage them to take up their wages in any of the trade goods on board the canoe.