Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Beginning

This is the beginning of a blog which might make it easier for me to communicate with the many branches of my fur trade family -- the Scottish Anderson-Setons who had four brothers and one cousin in the fur trade of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the Scottish and French-Canadian Birnie-Beaulieus who had (at least) three generations in the fur trade of the North West Company. The Anderson-Setons are spread around the world; for the most part the descendents of James Birnie and Charlot Beaulieu (and Charlot's sister, Josephine, who married Joseph Rondeau and ended up in St. Paul) have remained in North America.

For those of you who are Anderson-Setons: you might look for the book, "The Unfortunate Ship; the Story of the H.M. Troopship Birkenhead," (George C. Harrop & Co. Ltd), which has lots of information about Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Seton of the 74th Highlanders, who drowned when the Birkenhead struck a rock off South Africa in 1852. (Note: not everything on this blog will be about the fur trade, but it will be about families who had members in the fur trade.) I found photocopied pages of this book in the Annie M. Angus files (PABC), but they were waterdamaged and I could not order copies. Also in her files I found another A.C. Anderson manuscript, apparently published in the 1871 Geological Magazine, and titled: "On changes of climate and Extinction of mammalia," sent to Prof. Rupert Jones in a letter dated Dec. 10th 1870. I also discovered that Annie Angus learned that James (A) gave A.C. of Cathlamet power of attorney in matters connected with the firm of Allen, Lowe & Co. of San Francisco, to assume a share of their business. In a November 1855 letter to Governor Simpson James (A) said that A.C. could invest money in the company with an 18-20% annual interest (3% per month).

My manuscript (the biography of A.C. Anderson) is almost completed and ready for submission to publisher -- again. Every time I complete this project the book is better. My sister and I are planning a quick trip through the interior of British Columbia, following the brigade trails around the province. I should get some excellent photos, and we'll have fun, too. This summer I'll also find out if the Royal B.C. Museum has more A. C. Anderson artifacts and will get photos of them too. Next week I am travelling to Vancouver to view a black & white copy of A.C. Anderson's 1867 map which was owned by R.C. Harris -- a fur trade historian/geographer. Harris wrote notes all over the map and I will discover if he learned anything important that I do not already know. I hope so. I look forward to learning something new.


  1. I'd love to see that manuscript "on changes of climate & extinction..... In fact I'd love to see them all!

  2. I'm working on it, Steph. It could be the next book!