On the origin and progress of the North-West Company of Canada with a history of the fur trade, as connected with that concern, and observations on the political importance of the company's intercourse with, and influence over the Indians or savage nations of the interior, and on the necessity of maintaining and supporting the system from which that influence arises, and by which only it can be preserved

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Database ID26350
InstitutionUniversity of Saskatchewan Libraries Special Collections
Fonds/CollectionMorton Manuscripts Collection
File/Item ReferenceMSS-C500-4-11-1 (Box 5)
Date of creation1811
Physical description/extent1 book; 28.5 cm x 21 cm
Number of images38
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 file 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.
Contributer[John Henry] (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
Specific document typesBooks
Provenance Access PointMorton, A.S.
Other notesSee: 500/4/11.2 for a carbon of a typed copy of the above, 44 leaves. Covers much the same material as 500/4/10 but does not mention Indian Nations specifically. It was published anonymously in London in 1811, most likely by John Henry.
Treaty boundariesCanada -- National
Cultural regionCanada -- National
NamesHenry, Alexander
M'Gillivray, Duncan
Shaw, Angus
Thompson, David, 1770-1857 (English explorer)
Thomson, John
Tomison, William
Fur Trade
Government -- federal
Hunting and Trapping
North West Company
Date Range(s)1650-1749
Permanent Link https://digital.scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy/permalink/26350