WHOOP- UP COUNTRY: The Canadian American West, 1865-1885 by Paul F. Sharp

WHOOP- UP COUNTRY: The Canadian American West, 1865-1885

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A prairie profile traces the changing face of the borderland that now stretches along Highway 1 from Great Falls, Montana to Calgary. Now the scene of settled commerce, agriculture and ranching, Whoop-Up country eighty-five years ago was pioneer land, the stage for new settlements, for brisk trade in whiskey, guns and furs, for rivalries, robberies and Indian wars and for Law and Order. Mr. Sharp brings these variegated activities and their backgrounds into good focus in his narrative. Post Civil War economic exploitation saw Forts Benton and Whoop-up as bustling centers. Notorious for the whiskey trade it harbored, Whoop-up deserved its name; but there were other factors involved. The Hudson's Bay Company, the Northwest Fur Company and the American Fur Company each struggled to assert rights in a debatable region. Sioux and Blackfeet Indians resented intrusions and in turn intruded and there is detailed chronology of Sitting Bull's flight and its aftermath. The Northwest Mounted Police, formed largely to bring order to the vicinity, did their job with remarkable efficiency though Mr. Sharp is at pains to point out that the stereotype of Good Men and Bad Men does not represent what actually happened. Readably discursive, the book outlines a once homogeneous region whose division into two separate countries should interest both Canadians and Americans.

ISBN: 0816660123
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press