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3.14. Beaver

Baron de Lahontan and Early Images of the Beaver in North America

The Baron de Lahontan came to Canada in 1683, as an officer in the army. The colourful career of the baron included the book titled Voyages, published in 1703. The artist included an illustration of a crocodile in the river. Lahontan's descriptions of the beaver in this early account are somewhat exaggerated (as is the crocodile illustration).

The beaver was included in the armorial bearings of the City of Montréal when it was incorporated as a city in 1833. Sir Sandford Fleming assured the beaver a position as a true national symbol when he featured it on the first Canadian postage stamp–the Three-Penny Beaver of 1851.