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A French 18th- to 19th-century term denoting a man, usually French-Canadian, engaged, i.e., employed, with the promise of a steady salary to canoe (or row a boat) and handle all transportation aspects of river and lake-chain travel (maintenance, loading and unloading, propelling, steering, portaging, camp set-up, maps, interaction with Native American people, etc.) in the North American frontier, particularly within the fur trade. Also applied to the men who staffed the pirogues on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Compare with the merchant voyageur and seafaring sailor.
Either a person socially and politically engaged, especially in the arts and culture.
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