From Ohio History Central
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The fur trade in North America began with the earliest contacts between Native Americans and the Europeans. Within a few years of their arrival in the New World, French, English, and Dutch fur traders were competing with each other to form trading relationships with the Indians. In Europe, there was a good market for furs, while in America there were seemingly limitless numbers of fur-bearing animals.
By the early 1800s, many Indian tribes faced starvation due to the shortage of animals. The Shawnee Indians were in especially hard times. The Shawnee Prophet tried to convince his people to give up all white customs and products. He had only limited success. His brother Tecumseh tried to unite the Indians west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River into a confederation. One of the principal reasons that his plan failed was his inability to feed his followers due to the lack of animals.
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