Hudson’s Bay Company’s the Right of Seizure, the Fort, and the Preconditions of District-Inspection

  • Aaron James Henry


This chapter traces some of the preconditions that allowed the conduct to observe to be reworked as district-inspection. In particular, the chapter examines how, throughout the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the HBC inherited a form of power premised on the sovereign right of seizure. This mechanism of power created a unique form of social vision that was premised on the fort as a principle site of extraction and control. The chapter argues that starting in the early nineteenth century, the fort was reworked from a site of enclosure to a more open site that allowed indigenous hunters to be documented. I suggest these material conditions allowed some of the practices of observation to be reworked into a new form of social vision that supported the district as a technique to document people, land, and things.


Forts Right of seizure State Documentation Circulation 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron James Henry
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Political EconomyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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