Some account of the trade carried on by the North West Company [before 1763-1807] by Duncan M'Gillivray.

Database ID26354
InstitutionUniversity of Saskatchewan Libraries Special Collections
Fonds/CollectionMorton Manuscripts Collection
File/Item ReferenceMSS-C500-4-10 (O/S)
Date of creation1808
Physical description/extent1 book; 2 mm of textual records
Number of images1
Historical noteThe North West Company, a Canadian fur-trading company, was once the chief rival of the powerful Hudson's Bay Company. The company was founded in 1783 and enjoyed a rapid growth. It originally confined its operations to the Lake Superior region and the valleys of the Red, Assiniboine, and Saskatchewan rivers but later spread north and west to the shores of the Arctic and Pacific oceans. It even penetrated the area then known as the Oregon Country, where it constructed posts in what are now the U.S. states of Washington and Idaho. Its wilderness headquarters was located first at Grand Portage on Lake Superior and after 1805 at Fort William (also on Lake Superior, at the site of the present city of Thunder Bay, Ontario). Competition with the Hudson's Bay Company became especially intense when that company established the colony of Assiniboia on the Red River (in present-day Manitoba) in 1811-1812, across the North West Company's line of communications. A few years later, open conflict broke out, during which North West Company men destroyed the Red River colony (see Seven Oaks Massacre) and Hudson's Bay Company men destroyed the North West Company post of Fort Gibraltar (located on the site of modern Winnipeg, Manitoba) and captured Fort William. Under pressure from the British government, the old North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company were merged in 1821 under the name and charter of the latter company. The New North West Company, or XY Company, had a brief existence (1798-1804) as a competitor of the old North West Company before being absorbed by the latter. In the late 1700's and early 1800's, rivalry between the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company pushed their posts further and further west up the Saskatchewan River. In 1792, they both built forts at a site on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan, SE of present-day Elk Point, AB. The HBC called their post Buckingham House, and the Nor'westers christened their establishment Fort George.
Scope and contentThis book, a negative image photocopy, describes the history of fur trade carried on by the North West Company. It describes the mutual benefits which the writer believes will result for the Indians and the Company from this trade. It also discusses the military and political implications of the Company's continued presence in the country.
Restrictions on accessThere are no restrictions on access.
ContributerDuncan M'Gillivray (author)
Copyright holderPublic domain
Copyright expiry datePublic domain
Other terms governing use and reproductionResponsibility regarding questions of copyright that may arise in the use of any images is assumed by the researcher.
Primary MediaTextual documents
Provenance Access PointMorton, A.S.
Other notesBound out of order. "The manuscript is edited in the hand of Wm. M'Gillivary and given the title 'Sketch of the Fur Trade, 1809.'" For related material, see: "On the origin and progress of the North West Company of Canada, with a history of the fur trade ... (SC: 500/4/11.1) and "The Journal of Duncan M'Gillivray of the North West Company at Fort George on the Saskatchewan, 1794-5 (University of Saskatchewan Special Collections: 500/4/12.4 and FC3212.41 .M138A3 1929). See Finding Aid for additional notes on related material. On title page: The Manuscript is edited in the hand of Wm. M'Gillivray and given the title Sketch of the Fur Trade, 1809. It had been printed in the report of the Public Archives of Canada 1928, with introduction by Arthur S. Morton. The original is in the Imperial Institute, London.
Treaty boundariesCanada -- National
Cultural regionCanada -- National
NamesM'Gillivray, Duncan
Fur Trade
Hudson's Bay Company
Hunting and Trapping
North West Company
Date Range(s)1750-1775
Permanent Link