In the six years that Alexander Caulfield Anderson kept the Fort Alexandria journals, he wrote in the names of many of his men.
As his handwriting is sometimes hard to read, I have to take a guess at a few of the names.
Below is a listing of the men who worked or passed through the fort, with whatever information I have about them.
Pierre Cadotte -- Cadotte was a common name in the fur trade and there is a huge Metis family, but whether or not this man belongs to it I cannot tell you. But in Oct. 1844 Anderson wrote, "Michel Ogden with Cadotte & Laframboise (Ind.) off to Grand Lac on a drouine," and later, "M. Ogden off to trade salmon below with Montigny, Cadotte & 2 Indians." I strongly suspect Cadotte is Metis or Native.
Abraham Charbonneau -- accompanied A.C. Anderson on his first expedition across the country between Kamloops and Fort Langley, and came to New Caledonia from Fort Colvile. He may be a Metis descendent of Touissant Charbonneau who came across the country with the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805. He was first mentioned in the journals in spring 1846, and in June Anderson says "They will be forwarded at Kamloops by Charbonneau, Lacourse & Touin, whom I left there in passant." In Jan. 1847, Anderson wrote, "Vautrin returned from Ft. George, having left two men (Charbonneau & Desautels) on the way -- the former being sick & unable to travel. Three days after these men cast up. they have their feet frozen and altogether are in dismal plight."
Edouard Crete -- Crete was a French Canadian who came from Sorel and entered the service in 1838, coming straight to New Caledonia and serving as master of the canoe and bateau fleet for New Caledonia. In Oct. 1846 Anderson writes, "Four men, Crete, Fallardeau, Vautrin & Roi are come down to winter here." In Oct. 1846, "Rene & Crete putting down flooring in the house...Crete & Roi laying flooring &c in dwelling houses." In Oct. 1847 Anderson wrote that "This eveing the boutes arrived from S. Lake. Crete, Davis, Roi, Michel & two Owyhees -- no leather has come down, the supplies from Peace River having once more remained along the way.." I understand he retired in the Columbia, and that Crate's Point, on the Columbia River, is named for him.
William Davis -- In Feb. 1846 Anderson writes, "Linneard preparing for the chimney, with Davis & others." Davis accompanied Anderson his his first expedition across the country between Kamloops and Fort Langley; but in Sept. 1846 "it was intimated to me that two men, Ignace [Yarantrimarat] & Wm. Davis, deserters from the Brigade, were arrived. Immediately I got up & having seized the men, had them tied." He was put to work at Fort Alexandria, and in Oct. 1846, "Linneard, Lacourse, Davis & 4 lads off to clear & break up new land at the Riv. a la Barriere, where I intend to carry on operations hereafter." In April 1847, Anderson said that "Bapts. Lapierre being sent to conduct the trades at Thleuz-cuz, accompanied by William Davis."
"Delonaise" -- This man could be a Metis son of Louis Delonie or Delaunois (Delauney)who was steersman in New Caledonia in 1822-1827. He appeared for the first time in the journals after Marineau returned from Fort Colvile with three new men in Nov. 1844, when "Mr. Charles, with Marineau, Atla (as guide) and the man Delonais to Thleuz-cuz..." On Nov. 15th, "Today, Delonais, the man who accompanied Mr. Charles, cast up. He states that he lost himself 3 days ago, but having succeeding in finding the encampment in the night, he slept there, and next morning was unable to find his horses, which he had hobbled closely." Delonaise is sent north to Fort George with a guide, as he is unfamiliar with the country, and does not appear again in the Fort Alexandria journals.
Joseph Desautels (Desautel) accompanied Anderson on his second expedition between Kamloops and Fort Langley in 1847, and was a 20-year-old French Canadian from Yamaska, Quebec, who entered the service in 1843 and came directly to New Caledonia. In March 1846 Anderson's journal says, "Express party off about 8am to encamp at the guard when they will get fresh horses. Marineau, Wentrel, Desautels, Lanctat & Charbonneau compose the party -- the first and last to return from Colvile." Desautels also returned to New Caledonia.
Michel Fallardeau was a 20-year-old Metis when he entered the service in 1827 at Fort Vancouver. By 1837 he was in New Caledonia and in Dec. 1845 Anderson noted that "Camille Lonctain installed as as carter. Fallardeau variously occupied," and "Fallardeau preparing the wood for a winnowing machine," and "Fallardeau & Liard winnowed 63 bushels of barley, finishing about 1pm." Fallardeau accompanied Anderson on his second expedition across the country in 1847, and appears to have retired in 1851. However, some historians have said that Kamloops' Paul Fraser beat Fallardeau to death. If this is true, this may be the reason why Anderson was "very bitter with [Fraser] at Langley" in summer 1850.
Alexandre or Alexis Gendron was in his mid to late twenties when he served under Anderson at Fort Alexandria, and was a blacksmith. In January 1843, Anderson wrote: "Gendron, cook & sundries." In August 1843, "Gendron after milking cattle, having breakfast &c, set out with Thirouac to commence covering the barn." He may have helped in building the Fort Alexandria mill; "Gendron sifting flour," in April 1844. Anderson wrote of this mill's construction, "to grind our wheat, we had a small portable mill, with stones two feet in diameter...the mill itself was well made and efficient, but the driving gear, constructed at Alexandria, was a marvelous piece of workmanship. In those days of make-shifts, and dove tailing of means and appliances, to turn a Canadian voyageur into a millwright was nothing. Hence our mill, of which by the way we were very proud, rumbled round in a most eccentric manner." In Oct. 1845, "Yesterday Alexis Gendron & Heloise (formerly Esther Moreau), step-daughter of Joachim Lafleur, were united in matrimony by the Revd. Pere Nobili S.I." In Jan. 1847, "Gendron at intervals, making nails &c."
The New Caledonia "Lacourse" men were the LaCroix or Lacroise brothers -- Michel, Theodore, and Pierre. Michel LaCroix (Lacroise), entered the fur trade in Montreal in 1839 and came directly to Fort Vancouver. By 1840 he was in New Caledonia, remaining there till about 1867. Theodore Lacourse worked at Fort Alexandria and accompanied Anderson on both his explorations across the country between Kamloops and Fort Langley; and Anderson must be speaking of Theodore when he writes in April 1846, "Linneard, Vautrin & Lacourse having prepared the ploughs, made a beginning to plough this evening in the home field." Pierre LaCroix was also in New Caledonia, and in September 1846 Anderson wrote, "Yesterday afternoon I rec'd a note from Mr. Manson stating the desertion of two men, Pierre & Theodore Lacourse. I have commissioned the Inds. to search for these men & if they discover them to give me notice. I have also sent down word to the same effect to the Rapid, with directions to the Indians to steal their horses & bring them back to me with prompt intelligence." It is hard to tell exactly who abandoned the brigade, but it appears from Anderson's writing that William Davis was one of the deserters and Ignace was the other. Anderson's journal says, "this morning intimation was brought that Davis, having left Ignace, was returned hither, & that during the night endeavoured to persude Lacourse to set out with him for Kamloops." In Jan. 1847, "P. Lacourse cutting wood for a large wheel for the mill. Theodore Lacourse & Ignace threshing."
Joachim Lafleur -- A French Canadian, Lafleur came from Montreal and joined the fur trade as a 23 year old in 1828. He worked in the Columbia and Fort Colvile district until 1838 when he came to New Caledonia (Kamloops). In 1848 he accompanied Anderson to Fort Colvile and remained there until 1854, when he returned to Canada. Joachim Lafleur was afraid of snakes, and on one occasion startled the brigade-men when he found a snake that Anderson had killed and hung on a bush by the trail.
Francois Laframboise -- A French Canadian, Laframboise joined the fur trade in Montreal as a 20 year old and came directly to the Columbia district in 1831. By 1837 he was in New Caledonia, and appears on many occasions in the Fort Alexandria journals. In January 1845, Anderson wrote in his journal, "Today the following men arrived from S. Lake to pass the remainder of the winter here -- [Franc.] Laframboise, Pierre Cadotte, Pierre Lefevre, Charles ..., William, Wentrel...Men disposed as follows: Gendron, kitchen; Marineau, cutting wood in lieu of Rene who is sick, Linneard & Cadotte thrashing wheat; Lamframboise winnowing oats; Thirouac variously; Wentrel, wood." In 1846 Laframboise returned to the Columbia district, and retired about 1850, remaining in the country.
Olivier Laferte dit Theroux -- A French Canadian, Laferte entered the fur trade from Yamaska, Quebec, in 1828, and came to the Columbia in 1832. By 1837 he was in New Caledonia, where he is sometimes listed as a Fisherman. I thought that Anderson may have used both his names in the Fort Alexandria journals -- at least there is a Therioux/Theriouac/Thirouac that I am unable to trace. But in March 1845, Thirouiac retires though Anderson writes about Laferte, "I have engaged Olivier Laferte for 2 years Thleuz-cuz wages at 19 pounds with 3 pounds as fisherman, the same terms as his last engagement." In March 1845, "Laferte, whose toe is still sore from a frost-bite, employeed making wedges & [masses] for the press." A few days later, "Laferte (who has been laid up with his frozen toe ever since his arrival) making pegs &c."
Therouac -- In June 1843, Therouac was planing boards for Anderson's residence, and "Thirouac, M. Ogden, &c, making chimney in dairy." In March 1845, Anderson wrote that "Two retiring servants accompany [Mr. Lane to Fort Colvile], Lefevre & Therouiac."
Baptiste Lapierre -- From the journals, February 1843, "Yesterday Mr. McLean arrived from Chilcotins, accompanied by Liard. Baptiste Lapierre, whom I expected over on his way to Canada, is now willing to renew his employment & has consequently remained at home." In Sept. 1845, "Baptiste Lapierre arrived from Thleuz-cuz. He is come by permission of Mr. Charles, to enter upon a connubial treaty with Lolo's former wife; but unfortunatly for his views the lodge is at present absent. The old man wishes to form a permanent alliance with her; and as she is of a discrete age, and I believe of a decent character, I think the old man might do worse." Pere John Nobili married the pair. In Oct. 1846, "Baptiste Lapierre, interpreter." In Oct. 1847, "Lapierre with Laframboise (the Native) & Montigny made an early start for Thleuz-cuz, having to pass round by Chilcotins on the way back."
Thamire Liard appears to have had two names -- his other being Thomas Stanislaus. A French Canadian, he came from St. Constant, Laprairie, and entered the service in 1833, coming almost directly to Fort Vancouver. In July 1843, "This evening Mr. McLean & Liard cast up from Chilcotins, which they left this morning with two of Mr. McLean's horses." In Oct. 1845, "Liard with a number of Ind. lads, began digging potatoes, the crop of which promises to be abundant." He retired in the Columbia in 1848.
The man listed in the journals as Jean Lennard/Lenniard/Linneard turned out to be Jean Baptiste Leonard, a French Canadian who joined the fur trade in 1840 and came directly to Thompson's River and New Caledonia. In the early 1840's he was twenty six years old. Leonard at at Fort Alexandria when Anderson arrived in 1842; "John Lennard digging a hole for a necessary." Later, "The cattle having come home, sent Linneard to move them back to the Prele, as we have no fodder for them, reserving the cows which seem to be near their time." "Linneard and Lefevre off to Stonia to mow for hay." In Nov. 1844, "Linneard brewed some beer." In July 1846, "Linneard & Vautrin thrashed some wheat for grinding, as we have not quite sufficient flour to complete the quantity (50 bags) intended for the interior." In Sept. 1847, "Linneard &c tying & carting grass for barn-thatch, previously mowed." (In winter they covered the boat-storage house with hay and in the spring used that hay, if necessary, to feed the animals.) In January 1848, "Linneard laid up with the measles," and a day later the houses were crowded with the sick.
Baptiste Lolo and Edouard Lolo both served at Fort Alexandria at various times, and would have been Metis descendents of the Thompson's River Native named Lolo. John Todd married a daughter of Jean Baptiste Lolo, and the Lolo name appears often in the Kamloops and Fort Alexandria area.
I have been unable to discover anything about Marineau who worked for years under Anderson at Fort Alexandria, and who almost always led the Fort Colvile express every spring and fall. He was married to a Native woman and may have been Metis; from the Fort Alexandria journals, December 1842: "Dispatched Edouard Lolo and Marineau's brother-in-law to Kamloops with the letters rec'd yesterday." But Marineau is often mentioned in regards to important duties, "Want of ink chiefly has interrupted my journal for a time but now by the arrival of Marineau from Colvile, I have received a supply. He & Gendron arrived here yesterday (18th April 1844) but there was no intelligence of import, further than the safe arrival of Mr. Ogden at Colvile on the 26th Ulto." In Dec. 1844, "poor Marineau, having met with severe lacerations of the eye, lies [in a bad way] & suffers much. I am doing what I can to relieve him."
Edouard Montigny accompanied Anderson on both his expeditions across the country between Kamloops and Fort Langley, and was one of his most responsible men. He entered the service in 1833 at Fort Vancouver, and it is assumed he was the son of Ovid Montigny and his country wife. Edouard had a brother named Baptiste, who also worked at Fort Alexandria but who deserted in Sept. 1844. Anderson wrote, "I suspect the scamp has let some of our horses stray off, and is afraid of his brother's anger."
Jean Baptiste Paquette (B) came from Lachine in 1846 and entered New Caledonia in 1848 with Anderson; he was a French Canadian boy who appears to have remained at Kamloops. In Dec. 1846, the expressmen returned, and "Paquet, a lad who came in with Marineau, being weakly & unwell, I have kept here for the present."
Pierre Roi was a French Canadian who came from Sorel, Quebec, and entered the service in 1840. He came directly to New Caledonia; he was probably one of the men who helped construct the Fort Alexandria mill because he later was miller at Fort Colvile. He is first mentioned in the Fort Alexandria journals in March 1846, when Anderson says, "Pierre Roi & Lacourse have remained here -- the latter not being under engagement, the former having taken the place of Camille Lonctane. He has a promise to winter at Alex'r; I have been glad to secure him, as he is a handy man."
In July 1846, "Gendron, Vautrin & Roi employed about the new house &c Linneard laid up with a painful whitlow." In Oct. 1847 "Roi with the women of the Fort has taken up the turnips & carrots. Linneard at the potatoes will, I think, finish Monday if fine." In Nov. 1847, Anderson notes that "Roi being laid up with a strain, as he says, by falling under a piece of wood, we have a hard matter to warm ourselves, to the neglect of other necessary work."
Michel and Camille Lonctane could easily have been Metis children of Andre Lonctain, who worked for the Pacific fur Company and North West company on the west coast before 1819, and who trapped in the Snake River district 1826-7. In Oct. 1845 Anderson noted that, "Pere Nobili, Rene, Laferte, Ignace, Lenniard, Wentrel & Camille Lonctain is come by the boat" from Fort St. James. A few days later, "Liard & Camille off to the lakes to cut hay for use until the train road be open to hay from Stonia." In Nov. 1845, "Evening Michel Lonctane arrived for this post -- he brings a letter from S. Lake -- all well there." Posts which were short of winter provisions often sent men to Fort Alexandria to be fed over the winter. In Feb. 1848, "Michel Lonctane's former wife died today in the vicinity of the fort. I have told Rene to make a coffin. The little girl is in her father's charge & will be taken down this spring."
Charles Touin was a French Canadian who entered the service in 1833 and came to the Columbia district. By 1837 he was in New Caledonia and he worked for the HBC in the Columbia and New Caledonia until 1858. In June 1845 Anderson wrote, "Touin continued grinding at mill." In Jan. 1848 "Last night Touin's little boy, who has been suffereing for some time under the effects of an attack of the measles, died. This the only fatal case that has yet happened in the fort." In March 1848, "Touin is sent down to take Fallardeau's place -- having strict injunctions to watch the horses close & not suffer them to stray downwards. Pierre Roi continues at his ploughs -- the others variously." In April 1848 Touin looked for a Native horse thief. Anderson writes, "Lapierre & Touin arrived. They do not succeed in finding the scamp they are in search of, who managed to conceal his track upon the frozen ground and morning crust. They went a long distance and seem to have done their work zealously, though without success."
Jean-Baptiste Vautrin was a French Canadian who came from Ft. Edouard [?] and entered the service in 1833, coming to the Columbia. He spent 1837-1851 in the New Caledonia district, and in January 1845, "Vautrin arrived yest'y from Thleuz-cuz with the accs. of that post, his 9th day thence." Vautrin accompanied Anderson on his first expedition across the country between Kamloops and Fort Langley. In December 1842, Anderson wrote in his journal that "Men employed at house, carting and two (Dubois & Vautrin) being sawing...." In Oct. 1846, "Vautrin (who has been sick during the greater part of the week) commenced yesterday the care of a coal furnace previously built & fired by Gendron." In November, "Yesterday evening the wife of J. Bte. Vautrin (a daughter of Lolo's) was taken ill, and shortly after gave birth to a still born child. She afterwards fell into a state of exhaustion, and I was applied to for assistance." The woman died. In Dec. Anderson "was under the disagreeable necessity of chastising one of the servants under my command ---having occasion to reprimand J. Bte Vautrin for disrespectful language, which I did quietly in my sitting room, the man replied in so improper a manner that I was compelled to strike him a number of blows, in order to maintain that authority without the possession of which one's efficiency in this country is more than doubtful." In March 1847 Anderson wrote, "Today Pere Nobili set out for Kamloops, accompanied by his man & Bapte. Lolo, together with Vautrin. The last, whose time was expired & who was on his way out, had my sanction to make an arrangement to accompany Mr. Nobili till the spring, when he will be disposable for the summer brigade &c. He has therefore renewed his agreement with HBC for another year. His wages during the interval of his serving P. Nobili will be settled in the a/c of the latter at Vancouver." In March 1848, "Pierre Roi & Vautrin employed making ploughs &c. Linneard repairing harrows &c in preparation for sowing time." I believe Vautrin retired to Victoria and would have been one of the voyageurs who paddled Lady Franklin up the waters of the Gorge in March 1861.
There were other men listed that I have not been able to find in HBC or Metis records.
In July 1843, "Quebec and Gendron arranged (or I should rather say made) three cradles, which I intend to employ for harvesting our grain." Quebec may have been a nickname for another man, but he often appears in these journals in 1842.
"Allard" may have been a Metis descendent of the St. Bonfiace Allards. In June 1845 Anderson noted that "Allard, who accompanied Mr. Porteous hither, is very ill." He must have returned to Ft. George, because in Nov. 1845 Anderson writes that "Allard & an Ind. from F. George are likewise come wt horses for a supply of seed wheat &c." In Nov. 1846 "Allard arrived from Ft. George on horseback. Mr. Maxwell has sent him down to meet the express and likewise to get some medical assistance from me, as he is unwell. But I am afraid I can do little to benefit him...his disorder seems to be a violent chronic rheumatism."
It appears sometimes that Charles Onarese was an Iroquois employee; he does not often appear in the journals. In March 1848, "Men variously employed about the duties of this place, except Onarere, who continues lame."
Michel Cola -- In January 1843, "Michel Cola. & Trudelle began building a necessary."
Dubois -- When Anderson arrived at Fort Alexandria in 1842, the journal read, "Dubois & LeFevre squaring timber.." He is not mentioned afterwards and must have left the fort.
Ignace was another deserter from the brigade, but I do not have his surname. He occasionally appears in the journals, and in Nov. 1845 "This morning about 4am. Ignace [Kananhurat's] wife expired, having been ill for some time past." In Sept. 1846, "it was intimated to me that two men, Ignace [Yarintrimarat?] & William Davis, deserters from the brigade, were arrived. Immediately got up & having seized the men, had them tied. Upon entreaty, however .. I liberated them & they are to proceed to S. Lake. Accordingly they set out this morning." But Ignace returned to Fort Alexandria "having a badly crushed foot that prevents his walking well..I am sick & weary of these deserters & all the anxiety & trouble they occasion." In March 1847 "Fallardeau, Crete & Ignace set out for Stuarts Lake to assist in bringing down the boats. The last was reengaged by me yesterday for 2 yrs. as boute -- having a promise to winter either at Alexr. or Colvile, at the option of the Concern."
Joseph Lebrun is not mentioned until October 1846, when Anderson's journals says, "Evening Joseph Lebrun with 6 Indians in 3 canoes arrived from Fort George, to my great surprise. They are come down expecting to return loaded with grain & wheat -- an extraordinary expectation when it is known that our harvest has failed, and that I had furnished the whole quota of 50 barrel, which I had engaged to supply for the upper parts. However, since these poor people have been referred to me for flour, they shall not be disappointed; but the grain must first be thrashed & ground...I'm out of humour at these irregularities, and so must stop." Lebrun was a Fort George man.
Pierre LeFevre -- When Anderson arrived at Fort Alexandria in 1842, the journal read, "Dubois & LeFevre squaring timber." Later, "LeFevre mortising posts, etc."
"Lenniard, LeFevre, Theriouac & Indian plowing." Lefevre retired in March 1845 and probably returned to Quebec.
Lefleche, who occasionally appears in these journals, might have been a Native man. "Dispatch M. Ogden, Montigny, E. Lolo & Lafleche (the last as guide) to the barrier on Chilcotin River, to trade salmon."
Michel Kavonoss/Karnasse -- From the journals, "Michel Karnasse cut his knee & is disabled."
Lambert -- in March 1845 Anderson wrote, "Lambert, one of the Ft. G. men who came down with Mr. Porteous, will remain here till spring, his services not being required at F. George where provisions are scarce."
Jacques Muriscott/Mariscatte/Mariscat might be Morrissette, a large Metis family. On December 25th 1842, "sent 3 ft. Tabo by Jack Muriscotte (who came for his rations) to Columetra, with a message to encourage the Inds. to trap small furs. The horses Jack reports to be doing well." In winter 1842, Jacques worked at the Horse Guard near Williams Lake, but shortly thereafter Anderson wrote, "Mr. Tod informed me that a good many of our horses are scattered in the vicinity of the Carrot &c and that some have been brought to Kamloops. These horses ... were lost prior to my arrival, Mariscatte having been alone down at the guard & apparently having neglected them. Since Thomas has been there I have every reason to be satisfied with their care of the horses..."
Rene Talanalong or Old Rene might be a Kanaka or Hawaiian man. In May 1843, Anderson wrote, "Late yesterday evening Rene Talanalong [hasted] for the canoe, it appears that he had been thrown from his [horse] while endeavouring to overtake a pack horse which had taken fright and having laid for some time senseless he made the best of his way to the fort being unable to follow the brigade." In May 1844, "the wife of Rene Salahoamy was released from her protracted sufferings," leaving a boy of 8 or 9 years of age. In March 1845, "Rene has no task assigned him; but does what he finds convenient." In April 1847 Anderson writes that "Baptiste Lapierre & Rene have made 11 packs."
Trudelle -- On Monday November 21st, 1842, "Trudelle lost the day looking for a horse." On December 19th, 1842, "Trudelle arranged Mr. Demers' chimney."
Thomas was at Fort Alexandria in 1842 -- Saturday, December 17, 1842, "Thomas, who came here with Marineau for his rations -- sought his horses, but did not succeed in finding them." On Monday Dec. 19th, "Thomas went off to horse guard."
Wentrell -- Wentrell came into New Caledonia with Anderson in early winter 1842, as the journal notes: "Today Lefevre & Wentrel (a lad who accompanied me hither) hauling pickets, with 5 horses." Later in June 1843, "Jack and Wentrel set out today for Okinagan with sundry horses as per list." He remains however in the district, because Anderson wrote in Nov. 1845 that "Wentrel is by no means a trustworthy character." A day later he "started Ignace & Wentrel to return in quest of the lost property."
For the most part these are the men who are mentioned in Anderson's Fort Alexandria journals. Through Anderson's notes you can see the employee's lives, the work they had to do and the difficulties they had to overcome. Each man had his own skills, and some appear to have been very skilled in various work -- others unreliable at best. If you can complete some of these stories I would appreciate hearing from you.