Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fort Langley brigade days

Fort Langley is having its brigade days this next weekend; I am planning to be there on Saturday. It's great fun; you will learn a lot about fur trade guns from the Victoria Voltigeurs, and if you are there on Monday you will see the brigade come in. Even if you do not spend your whole day in the fort, Fort Langley is an interesting town to visit, with excellent bookstores, antique shopping, and all sorts of entertainment. See you there!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am, at last, picking up the outgoing 1840 brigade as it leaves the Thompson River post on the east bank of the North Thompson River, and follows its old trail along the south bank of the South Thompson River toward the place where Monte Creek flows in from the south.
According to James R. Gibson, author of the book, The Lifeline of the Oregon Territory; the Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997), this was the trail that the fur traders used until 1843.
It took only a few days to make this short trip through Monte Lake to Okanagan Lake.
Normally it took eight or so days for the brigades to make the journey south all the way to the Okanogan post, at the junction of the Okanogan River with the Columbia.

From the map above, you can see that the brigaders crossed the South Thompson River and rode east along its banks to Monte Creek.
The brigaders then waded across Monte Creek and rode along its east bank up the hills toward Monte Lake.

The photograph to the left shows the grassy, open pine woods they rode through.
In mid-summer this was hot and dry country, and even in late spring it would have been warm and sunny most of the times they made this journey south.

The fur traders followed the east bank of Monte Creek all the way to the lake at its head -- today's Monte Lake.

In the photograph to the left and below, we are looking back from the shores of Monte Lake, at the place where the fur traders rode in from the Thompson's River post.
We are looking north, from the east side of the lake where the actual brigade trail ran.

In the photograph below, we are looking south along the shores of Monte Lake, in the direction that the fur traders travelled to reach Okanagan Lake.

Little has changed here. Our view today is the same view the fur traders enjoyed.

The brigaders must have made their first camp on the shores of this lake -- on Anderson's map this was called "Campement du Poulin."
My French dictionary does not tell me what the word 'poulin' means, but it could have referred to grouse or other chicken-like birds found here.

To the left and below is the part of the country that Anderson and other furtraders called "the Grande Prairie." He wrote of this place in later years, saying:
"...I may mention that there are in various portions of British Columbia large tracts of pasture land where the snow never accumulates. These tracts are generally broad valleys lying between high ridges of hills. There is one in particular, near the dividing watershed of the Columbia and the Thompson. It is called the Grande Prairie, and contains several thousands of acres of the most luxuriant pasture. The existence of these open tracts facilitates greatly the raising of large herds in their vicinity; so that in the event of unlooked for severity of the season they can at once be driven to abundant and unembarrassed pasture. I have in vain endeavored to account satisfactorily for this anomaly, and may possibly advert to the fact again before I conclude."
This quote comes from Anderson draft unpublished manuscript, "British Columbia," pp. 25-26, BCA.
Today's "Grande Prairie" surrounds the British Columbia town called Falkland.
A hundred and fifty years ago Anderson and other fur traders called the river that flowed through this valley the Salmon River.
It is known by the same name today -- it is probably the Native name for the river.

Below are two more photos -- one of the flatlands north of Lake Okanagan, and one looking down the length of the lake from the west shore, where the old brigade trail ran.
These are views that every fur trader who rode up and down this trail enjoyed.

In this photo we are probably a little east of the place where the fur traders' trail led.
This is Swan Lake, a smaller lake to the east of the north end of Lake Okanagan.
The fur traders actually rode into the west side of the north end of Lake Okanagan and never saw this country.
But we are looking east, and the hills on the other side of the lake are similar or the same as the hills that the brigaders would have seen.
Below is the view of the fifty mile long Lake Okanagan from its north end, close to the place where the fur traders would have ridden in.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A comment on Blackeye's Trail

A gentleman named Brock has commented on my brigade trail post, telling me that he hiked over the trail I called Blackeye's Trail in 1981 and found it completely overgrown.
It took his party a week of tough slogging over trails that were wet in places, and sometimes very steep.
But he also said that a hiker and writer named Murphy Shewchuk had left blazes on enough trees that they could find the trail.
Murphy Shewchuk is a writer of hiking books; I own at least one of his older books (which I cannot at the moment find) and have borrowed others from the library.
The Shewchuk book that covers the Coquihalla brigade trail is called "Coquihalla Country; A guide to the North Cascade Mountains and the Nicola Valley," (2nd edition, Merritt, B.C.: Sonotek Publishing Ltd., date?).
You can purchase his publications online at www.books-about-bc.com
They are excellent guides to British Columbia trails old and new, and the publications include information on a number of the brigade trails.

Another book you might find in a second hand book-store is Bob Harris' "The Best of B.C.'s Hiking Trails; Twenty Great Hikes by Bob Harris," (Maclean Hunter, 1986).
It, too, contains information on portions of the brigade trails, but not necessarily up-to-date information.

It is true that when these trails are not regularly used and maintained, they quickly disappear.
In order to make these trails suitable for the hundreds of horses of the New Caledonia and Fort Colvile brigades, the fur traders had to build safe fords, or sometimes actual bridges, over the many mudholes, creeks, and rivers they had to cross.
If the ground was too soft, the passage of as many as 400 horses would turn the trail into a quagmire that later horses could not cross.
Gradient was important, but the fur traders could accept a steep slope if the hillside allowed room for switchbacks.
But that meant that employees at the local forts, and Native employees, took hoes and axes and carved trail up and down the steep hills.
In his journal of his 1847 expedition (A/B/40/An3.1, PABC), Upward Journey, Anderson wrote: "Today, not being decided as to the line to be adopted we merely chipped the road, the Indians undertaking to finish it, under the superintendence of Pahallak. Having had proof of their willingness & capacity in this line, I have no hesitation in confiding the matter to them, more especially as the distance to be cut is short, the chief portion lying over bare hills."
Pahallak was Anderson's Native guide, a Sto:lo chief from Chilliwack area, upriver from Fort Langley on the lower Fraser River.
A few days later Anderson wrote: "Settled with the Indians who had assisted us, paying them with ammunition, tobacco, knives, &c. I have lent 3 axes to the chief of Squa-zoum [the village near Boston Bar, B.C.], 3 axes to Pahallak, and 1 axe & 1 hoe to the old man of the Spuzzum [at the mouth of the Spuzzum River north of Yale, BC] for the purpose of making further improvements, where necessary, in the road, for which they are to be compensated upon our passage in the spring."
In these quotes Anderson is speaking of the the Anderson River trail the brigades travelled in 1848.
But the same applied in 1849, when Donald Manson reported to Governor Simpson that he had hired a strong party of Natives to open the new trail over the Coquihalla.

By 1849, Anderson was in charge of Fort Colvile, on the Columbia River.
Because of the American Indian uprising along the Columbia River, the Fort Colvile brigades brought out their furs by the brigade trail over the Coquihalla mountain to Fort Hope.
When Anderson's brigaders rode out of Fort Colvile in June 1850, no one knew whether the new road over the mountains could be crossed with horses so early in the season.
From the base of the Coquihalla at Campement des Femmes, near modern-day Tulameen, the men and horses of the Fort Colvile brigade began their journey up the narrow river valley to the top of the mountains.
Everyone was prepared for the worst.
Their fears were confirmed when they discovered that snow lay everywhere on the rough mountain plateau.
But the snow crust was hard enough to support the loaded horses, and they crossed with little difficulty.

This description of the part of the Coquihalla trail comes from the book, "A Pioneer Gentlewoman in British Columbia; the Recollections of Susan Allison," Edited by Margaret A. Ormsby (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1976) pp. 9-10.
At the time of Susan's recollections, she is a young woman newly arrived at Hope and not yet married to John Fall Allison, early settler in the Similkameen and Princeton area.

"From the doorway of our shack we could see the Hudson's Bay Company's Post and watch the pack trains come in from Colvile, Keremeos and other places. Sometimes there would be a grand stampede and the pack trains would disrupt. Horses and men could be seen through a misty cloud of dust, madly dashing all over the Hope flat, lassos flying, dogs barking, hens flying for safety anywhere. Suddenly the tempest would subside as fast as it had arisen, the pack boys would emerge from the clouds of dust leading the ring leaders in the stampede. Those Hudson's Bay Company horses, though called 'cayooses,' were most of them splendid animals, hardy and enduring, with lots of good horse sense. Mr. McKay told me that they really were descended from the Spanish Barb brought to America over three hundred years ago by the Spaniards and left to run wild had spread all over the continent. It is possibly quite true. They were quick, hardy, and enduring.

"In the early days we had no roads, only rough trails mostly those used by the Hudson's Bay Company and Indians -- with no attempt at grades. In crossing the Hope Mountains the Hudson's Bay Company Brigade always took twice as many horses as were needed and went well armed. The horses were taken to enable them to negotiate "The Slide" on Mansen's [Manson's] Mountain where they invariably lost half their horses. There was no road, the trail ended at the top of the Slide and the horses were driven over the bank and once started had to go on sliding to the bottom. A few of the horses who had been used before had learned to brace themselves and went without being forced to go, and usually came through with accident. Coming back it was easier on them...." [One paragraph omitted].

"I shall never forget my first sight of a Hudson's Bay Company Brigade train coming in from Colvile. I had gone for a stroll on the Hope-Similkameen trail. There were still a few berries and I was getting a "feed" when I heard bells tinkling and looking up saw a light cloud of dust from which emerged a solitary horseman, the most picturesque figure I had ever seen. He rode a superb chestnut horse, satiny and well groomed, untired and full of life in spite of the dust. He himself wore a beautifully embroidered buckskin shirt with tags and fringes, buckskin pants, embroidered leggings and soft cowboy hat. He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him, for he abruptly reined in his horse and stared down at me, while I equally astonished stared at him. Then, as the Bell Boy and other horses rode up, he lifted his hat and passed on. I never met him again, but was told he was a Hudson's Bay officer in charge of the Colvile train and that he said he was never more surprised in his life than to see a white girl on the trail -- he had lived so long without seeing anyone except Indians."

This was in summer, 1860. In the introduction of the book the editor writes that "Susan Moir [her maiden name] never forgot the sight of Chief Factor Angus McDonald, dressed in buckskin garments and beaded leggings, leading the Colvile brigade in 1860 down the last stretch of the trail..."
Angus McDonald was Anderson's clerk while he was in charge of Fort Colvile, and he took over Anderson's position when Anderson retired in 1852.
I will have plenty to say about McDonald when I get to Fort Colvile; he was a well loved character and Anderson's son, James, had plenty to say about him.

As for the Coquihalla brigade trail, it has been re-discovered many times in the years after the fur traders stopped using it.
I have an unsourced note that tells me the last fur brigades came out over their trail in 1863.
There was no need to use a rough trail that damaged valuable horses when perfectly good wagon roads, such as the Dewdney Trail and the Cariboo Road, took people wherever they wanted to go in safety.

Sometime in the 1980's I discovered that old Forest Service maps showed Blackeye's Trail and the brigade trail.
However, when I purchased my own copy of the Hope Princeton sheet in 1993, I found that the trail had been erased from their maps; probably again overgrown.
If you visit the archives you can view (and even request a copy of) a 1939 B.C. Lands and Forests Topographic Map which shows Blackeye's Trail and the Coquihalla Brigade trail, amongst others of historic value.
This map is identified by the number CM/C724, BC Archives.
In the bottom left hand corner it contains the information about the many trails shown on the map -- Blackeye's Trail; Brigade Trails, including Anderson's River and the Coquihalla Trail; the Whatcom Trail [1858-9]; and the Dewdney or Hope Trail built in 1860 and widened to a wagon road in 1861.
Blackeye's Trail is the route by which Anderson crossed the Coquihalla in 1846 and correctly bears the name of Blackeye's Trail.
When Blackeye told Anderson about his trail, he said that it descended the mountain to arrive at the place where the rhododendrons bloomed (Rhododendron Flats, Manning Park).
But when Blackeye's son showed Henry Newsham Peers over the trail I have sometimes (in error) called Blackeye's Trail -- that is, the trail that became the brigade trail over the Coquihalla -- he showed him a trail that crossed Blackeye's trail and descended the mountains to the Coquihalla River to the west, by a creek later named Peers Creek.
Perhaps this trail should be called Blackeye's son's trail.

There still exist a number of articles written in years past about these brigade trails, by men who actually re-explored the trails and wrote about their adventures.
I will list them below; most issues of Okanagan Historical journals can be found in your local library.

In the 1930's: J.C. Goodfellow, "Fur and Gold in Similkameen," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, April 1938, pp. 67-8.
In the 1940's: E.P. Creech, "Similkameen Trails, 1946-61," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, October 1941, pp. 255-267.
In the 1950's: E.P. Creech, "Brigade Trails of B.C.," The Beaver, March 1953, pp. 10-15.

In the 1970's:
Harley R. Hatfield, "Brigade Trail, Fort Hope to Campement des Femmes," 36th Report of Okanagan Historical Society, 1972, pp. 37-48.
Harley R. Hatfield, "Hope-Tulameen Brigade Trail [introduction to following article]," Thirty-sixth report of Okanagan Historical Society, November 1 1972, pp. 14-15.
Lieutenant H. Spencer Palmer, Royal Engineers, "Report of the Country Between Fort Hope and the Similkameen," Thirty-sixth report of Okanagan Historical Society, 1972, pp. 16-25.
"From the Journal of Arthur Thomas Bushby," Thirty-sixth report of Okanagan Historical Society, 1972, pp. 26-29.
"HBC Trek -- July 31 to August 8, 1971; Victor Wilson's Journal," Thirty-sixth report of Okanagan Historical Society, 1972, pp. 29-37.
Harley R. Hatfield, "Brigade Trail Fort Hope to Campement des Femmes," Thirty-sixth Report of Okanagan Historical Society, 1972.
Harley R. Hatfield, "A Report on the Preservation and Exploration of Fur Brigade Trails, May 1972 to May 1973," and "Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, Summary of Events on and about the Hudsons Bay Brigade Trail, Fort Hope to Campement des Femmes, for 1972 to date," and "A Report, Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail -- Hope to Tulameen," Thirty-seventh Report of Okanagan Historical Society, Nov. 1, 1973, pp. 13-20.
Harley R. Hatfield, "On the Brigade Trail," The Beaver, Summer 1974, pp. 38-43.
R.C. Harris, "Old Trails and Routes in British Columbia; Blackeye's and 1849 HBC Trail," B.C. Historical News, Vol. 12, #1, November 1978, pp. 15-17.
R.C. Harris, "The HBC 1849 Brigade Trail, Fort Hope to Kamloops -- Collins Gulch Section," B.C. Historical News, Vol. 12, #4, Summer 1979, pp. 22-26.

In the 1980's:
Harley R. Hatfield, "The Proposed Cascade Wilderness," Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1980, pp. 9-18, contains a lot of information about the history of the Coquihalla trail.
R.C. Harris, "The Hope-Nicola Trail, 1875-1913," B.C. Historical News, Vol. 14, #1, Fall 1980, pp. 18-24, contains a little about the early history.
R.C. Harris, "A Good Mule Road to Semilkameen; Later known as the Canyon, or Dewdney, Trail," B.C. Historical News, Vol. 14, #3, Spring 1981.
Harley R. Hatfield, "The Brigade Trail; Nicola Lake to Kamloops," B.C. Historical News, Vol. 16, No. 3, Winter 1983, pp. 13-17.
Harley R. Hatfield, "Blackeye's Trail," Okanagan History; 51st Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1987, pp. 99-104.

Many years ago an article about Harley R. Hatfield appeared in our local newspaper, The Daily Colonist, Sunday May 23, 1976.
It was titled "A Pathfinder," and written by Eric Sismey.
It begins with, "About 10 years ago he [Hatfield] began, after enlisting one or two history-minded friends, to trace century old Hudson's Bay Fur Brigade trails; one from Hope to Tulameen, the other through the Okanagan Valley...
"The first 60-mile eight-day hike from Tulameen to Hope was made in 1971 by a troop of Venture Scouts under the leadership of Mr. Hatfield and his trail blazer friend Eric Jacobson of Princeton."
The article went on to tell how Mr. Hatfield was attempting to to press the Provincial Government into extending certain boundaries of Manning Park to include sections of the old trail, preventing logging on the trail.
He was unsuccessful but, in spite of that, Harley Hatfield "made an indelible mark that can never be erased from the history of British Columbia."
Without Hatfield's many articles in various historical journals, I could never have written about the brigade trails with any expertise at all.
Thank you, Mr. Hatfield, and all the other men who tramped these trails with you.

Corrections to Anderson-Seton family tree

Today I am making some corrections to the Anderson Seton family tree page which appears early in this blog.
If you have copied out this tree and are using this as a source, you should re-read.
The new and corrected information does not vary widely from the original, but it does make that page more accurate.
The Anderson-Seton family history tree was posted on July 15, 2009.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Genealogy research in early British Columbia

Genealogy research in early British Columbia records is difficult if not impossible, but there are resources available for everyone.
Firstly, anyone can go the the Hudson's Bay Archives website and download the biographical sheets for anyone they are interested in, if those biographical sheets are available. This will give you a short history of the person, and by following the file numbers on the right hand side of the sheet (by requesting the files from HBCA), you can see the actual record.
Secondly, anyone in Canada, and perhaps people outside Canada, can request the microfilm reel of the post they are interested in researching. Generally speaking, first access the HBCA website to find the number of the microfilm[s] you need. Then request the film at the Interlibrary Loan desk of your local library (main branch, probably). If the library does not deal with HBCA (and most do) you can find out from the Reference Desk who you need to go to to request a microfilm reel. Libraries generally provide readers for the microfilms, and you are only able to read the films in the library.
Account books for the various forts sometimes list employees at the fort and their dates of working, ages, and wages -- they are a valuable genealogical resource. But also look through the post journals and sometimes the outgoing correspondence, if the person is significant enough to be mentioned in those letters.

A second resource is the website for the British Columbia Metis, at www.bcmetis.ca. They have listings of post journals and other published and unpublished resources available in magazines and on the internet. Anyone can access the site for free, but you may have to register with them.

A third resource that I have not yet accessed -- for early baptismal records and some marriage records -- is the archives of Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Many missionary records are preserved there, and it is a resource that is not often mentioned. However, their records might also form the basis for the series of Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest, so if your ancestors' records are not in those books, they may not be in the Gonzaga University records.

Good luck in your search.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jean Baptiste Lolo's descendents at Fort Alexandria

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online tells us that Jean-Baptiste Lolo (also known as St. Paul) was an HBC employee, trader and Native spokesman born in 1798 of French and Iroquois parents.
He probably worked for the North West Company as an interpreter, and by the time he is mentioned in HBC records in 1822 he was stationed at Fort St. James.
He worked in other posts, but from 1828 he worked at the Thompson's River post on the east bank of the North Thompson River.
When Sam Black was murdered in 1841, Jean Baptiste Lolo kept the abandoned fort safe from Native invasion until John Tod rode in from Fort Alexandria to take over the post.
From Robert C. Belyk, John Tod, Rebel in the Ranks (Horsdal & Schubert, 1995)comes the information: "On 3 August 1841, Tod arrived with Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden and a small party at Fort Thompson where they were greeted by Lolo and his family. While the occupants of the post had suffered much hunger and hardship during this time, Tod noted that the buildings locked by the Europeans when they departed remained secure. Although he never entirely trusted Lolo, Tod was nonetheless impressed by his strength and courage."
Tod's first duty was to locate the murderer of Sam Black and punish him; when this was done he began construction of a new fort on the west bank of the North Thompson River.
Few journals for the post exist, but these years are covered in the Thompson River Journal by John Tod, 1841-1843, A/B/20/K12A in BC Archives.
I have only copied the months that covered Anderson's journey into New Caledonia in 1842, but Lolo is mentioned in these journals.
On Monday October 24, 1842, "Beaudoin, M. Ogden and Lolo (the foreman in the kitchen) remained at the old establishment."
At this time, the new fort Kamloops was under construction on the west bank of the river and most of the men worked at the new post.
On Wednesday 26th, "All hands excepting Lolo and the cook employed with Mr. Cameron at the buildings on the opposite side."
On Thursday November 3, "On the afternoon the F. Express with Mr. Anderson and four young hands arrived from Colvile all well." Anderson was riding into New Caledonia to take over the charge of Fort Alexandria, after an embarrassing situation at Fort Nisqually.
On Friday 4th -- "Mr. Anderson getting his horses collected in order to start tomorrow. Exchanged [Theodore] Lacourse for one of the young hands, who Mr. Anderson recommends as handy with the axe. Michel Ogden also proceeds to N. Caledonia with Mr. A."
I don't believe Anderson had anything to say about Lolo, but it is apparent that they were both once at the same place.
When the Thompson's River post was abandoned and the men removed to the new post of Kamloops, Jean Baptiste Lolo remained in the old buildings for many years.
He left a large family of at least seven sons and four daughters, including Sophia, who married John Tod.
Today Lolo's restored house still survives as part of the Kamloops Museum.

Many people in the fur trade carried the Lolo name, and it is assumed that they are among the children of Jean Baptiste Lolo.
In the Fort Alexandria journals there are quite a few mentions of people named Lolo -- one you have already seen in Vautrin's biography a few postings earlier.
From early days at Fort Alexandria, Anderson mentioned the Indian boys who worked at the fort, without naming them.
But on Tuesday December 27th, 1842, Anderson "dispatched Edouard Lolo and Marineau's brother in law to Kamloops with the letters rec'd yesterday."
On Monday January 23, 1843, "Edouard and his companion returned from Kamloops yesterday, having reached that place with the letters their 5th day."
On Tuesday August 29th 1843, Edouard Montigny is listed as present at the fort, but Edouard Lolo is not mentioned. However, a few days later "Edouard returned yes'day from Chilcotin, all well there." He may be working with Donald McLean at the Chilcotin post. -- However, be warned, when Anderson speaks of Edouard, it is usually Edouard Montigny, not Lolo.
Monday September 11, 1843, "Dispatch M. Ogden, Montigny, E. Lolo & Lafleche (the last as guide) to the barrier on Chilcotin River to trade salmon. They have 20 horses to load, if they can trade sufficient."
The above entries were found in Fort Alexandria Journal 1842-1843, B.5/a/5, HBCA.

In the Fort Alexandria Journal 1843-1845, B.5/a/6, HBCA, a second Lolo appears.
On Friday September 26, 1844, "I sent off Laframboise & Baptiste Lolo to Thleuz-cuz (see letter this date). They are taking back the horses & apres that remained there owing to the fatigue of the former."
Monday October 7th -- "Evening Laframbois & Baptiste Lolo returned from Thleuz-cuz. They have brought back the horses left there. The news from thence, I am happy to say, very satisfactory."
Friday January 24th 1845 -- "In the evening Edouard Lolo arrived from Kamloops wt. a packet from Vancouver. I lose no time in forwarding the letters for the interior..." Edouard Lolo has been working at Kamloops.

The Fort Alexandria journal 1845-1848, B.5/a/7, HBCA, has mention of Jean Baptiste Lolo's former wife:
On Saturday September 27th 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 unfortunately 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 discreet age, and I believe of a decent character, I think the old man might do worse."
As you will see from the following note, this woman is Donald McLean's mother in law...
Saturday October 11, 1845 -- "Pere Nobili married Baptiste Lapierre to Mr. McLeans' mother in law today."
Monday November 3rd, 1845 -- "I sent off Liard & Grand Michel on foot, and afterwards followed myself, with Baptiste Lolo, to assist in looking for the packs --about 3 miles at the other side of Riv: Necauslay my anxiety was relieved by meeting the people returning, with the property uninjured. It was found lying in the road -- the horse having broken his girths and followed the party light without their perceiving the loss, till they arrived at the encampment. A more shamefully negligent thing to all concerned I have never met with."
Wednesday December 31, 1845 -- "I understand that Lolo has been sent by Mr. Tod to trade along the River & that he has invited the Barge Inds. to meet him at the Chilcotin fork to trade -- see note. This is an unfair proceeding; should the report prove well founded." The note at bottom of the page said, "As I expected, this report turned out to be quite unfounded."
Monday February 9th 1846 -- "Today dispatched Michel Ogden, Camille Lonctain, & Baptite Lolo (the last as Interpreter) to trade with the Chilcotin Indns." The Chilcotin post had been closed down by now and replaced with the new post at Thleuz-cuz.
"30th June, 1846 -- On Saty. 2nd May I set out on an expedition to Fort Langley [his first cross-country expedition]; and returned hither on the 13th instant, finding everything in good order. The fort has meanwhile remained in charge of postmaster Michel Ogden, to whom formal reference may be had for the several transactions during the interim. On the 27th, E. Montigny, Francois (the Priest's interpreter) & E. Lolo on his way to Kamloops, with [can't read] Montigny (engaged for the summer) set out for Okinagan with the horses..."
Friday October 16th 1846 -- "Fine weather. The river has risen to a few feet from the gate of the fort. Secured the potatoes. Edouard Lolo arrived, he saw our men but the water being too high [to cross the pieces], they sent back the horses until the river falls, they have lost several of the pieces they had cut." The fort is on the west side of the Fraser River at this time, and was moved to the river's east bank after it was flooded out sometime over this winter.
Thursday October 22 -- "W. Charles & E. Lolo set out with draught horses for the wood party at Stonia [a lake near Fort Alexandria] -- the water being now sufficiently low."
Monday 9th November 1846 -- "Fine. 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...." [see Vautrin's entry for the rest of this information.]
Wednesday January 27th 1847 -- "This morning two Indians died -- one (E. Lolo's beau-pere) suddenly apparently of apoplexy -- the other, a Chilcotin, after a few days sickness."
Thursday February 17th 1848 -- "Baptiste Lolo arrived this evening from Kamloops -- he had brought no letters; but the verbal tidings he brings are most distressing. It appears that when he left the post Mr. Tod was quite helpless & unable to write from the effects of the measles; and that every individual in the fort was in the same condition, save Gendron & his wife & child, the two latter of whom had the disease at Okinagin in the fall. Thirty five Indians are stated to have died in the immediate vicinity of the Fort...Baptiste brings a message to me from his father (who is the only Indian, with the exception of Marineau's brother in law, who has not yet fallen sick) to the effect that our horses are scattered in all directions & that the wolves are committing sad havoc among them -- that there is not a soul capable of looking after them, &c.
"Under these circumstances I determined on sending Marineau off forthwith to Kamloops... Baptiste reports that all the Indians of the Rapids & Barge who had gone down towards Kamloops in quest of food last fall, are lying sick, dead or dying, along the road. I receive all this with due allowance for exaggeration..."

This is the 1847 measles epidemic, which had an enormous effect on the fur trade -- I will speak of the epidemic in a later posting. For now, Anderson rode away from Fort Alexandria in May 1848, and we, too, must follow the brigade trail south toward Fort Okanogan.

Fur trade research and genealogy

I don't know if anyone is aware how long it takes to research and write a book of this sort; in my case, it has been ten years or more.
I am still learning -- and I thank those descendents of the fur trade for reading this blog and contacting me to correct some of the information that I have posted.
I have recently been speaking with a descendent of the man who Alexander Anderson called Lenniard. (His HBC biography tells us his name is Leonard.)
The descendent told me she thought that he was Scottish, not French Canadian as I have said.
On reading the journals, I noticed that Lenniard was the only man who worked in the fields that surrounded Fort Alexandria -- he was never involved with the outgoing brigades; he never was sent out on the express; he never did any of the work that the typical French Canadian voyageur did.
I think the descendent is correct -- that he was an Orkneyman (perhaps) imported by the company as an agriculturist and sent to Fort Alexandria to work the farm.
Lenniard was truly a farmer in the fur trade -- something that I have often said about Alexander Anderson.

But for this descendent, and for others I have spoken with, now comes the job of confirming the information and finding the birth records of the man.
There are a number of very good genealogical resources available, and I will list the ones I think most relevant to many of you:

French Canadian genealogy has two good sites:
If you are researching French Canadian and English/Scottish residents of Quebec before 1800, this is the resource you should use -- PRDH, or Programme de recherche en demographie historique through the University of Montreal.
It is, however, limited to Quebec genealogy, but it covers all church records from early days in Quebec all the way to 1800.
You will purchase "hits" but they go a long way and never expire. Unless you have a lot of research to do, purchase a small number of hits.
This is amazing site; and very accurate.
To find it, google PRDH.

Another French Canadian site is the Drouin Collection on Ancestry.ca.
To access these French Canadian records you must join Ancestry.ca at a cost of about $40.00 a year, I believe.
These are broken up into six sections and cover more than just Quebec records -- in fact in the Miscellaneous French records I found the Red River census of about 1824 which listed how many buildings and cattle Joseph Rondeau (later of St. Paul, Minnesota) owned.
The sections are labeled:
Quebec Vital & Church Records
Quebec Notarial Records (this contains contracts, etc., and sometimes you find records in here that can be found nowhere else).
Acadian Catholic Church Records
Ontario French Catholic Church Records
Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records (ie. Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit, Illinois, etc.)
Miscellaneous French Records.
When I was searching for my Beaulieu ancestors these records were only indexed back to 1820 and I had to search every page individually -- an impossible task at best.
I don't know how far back they are indexed now, but certainly the Quebec Vital & Church Records are indexed through the 1700's (they're indexing from the later records to the earlier).

Scottish ancestry is amazing easy to research, but no one seems to know about the Scottish site.
It is Scotlands People, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
This is a government site which gives you access to all Scottish records including statutory registers, old parish registers, census records, wills and testaments, coat of arms search, and catholic parish registers.
Like the PRDH you pay for hits, but you get good value for the money.
Through this site I learned that my great-great grandfather James Birnie had a father was a tanner who worked with leather, and a grandfather who was a shoemaker in Old Aberdeen.
With his familiarity with leather and skins, James Birnie must have been a valuable man in the fur trade of the North West Company.

Another important thing I have learned while I have worked on the research for this book is to give information to get information.
Many of the fur trade forts have descendents groups who share information -- one of these groups is the Descendents of Fort Nisqually Employees.
Find them by googling "Descendents of Fort Nisqually Employees."
I have received a ton of information from members of this group, and appreciate the work they are doing in the area around Fort Nisqually.

If you live in this area, you should attend Fort Langley's Brigade Days to get a feel for life in the fur trade; they also have a group for descendents of employees of the fur trade at Fort Langley.
To find out what's happening at Fort Langley, google "Fort Langley National Historic Site."
The village of Fort Langley is a charming and enjoyable place to visit, especially if you like shopping for antiques.

Spokane House has a celebration every year, and one of the re-enactors plays my g.g.grandfather, James Birnie.
To find them, google "Spokane House Interpretive Centre."
The interpretive centre is well out of town and if nothing is being celebrated then no one is there.
But Spokane is a great town to visit, especially if you are researching the fur trade.
Gonzaga University holds many of the early missionary records; Spokane Falls is a short walk from downtown; Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is to the west of downtown; and finally, the main branch of the Spokane Public library has a large genealogical section and the Northwest Room is full of books of history.
Auntie's Bookstore is in Spokane!
For Beaulieu descendents and David Thompson historians, "Beaulieu's Brook" is one or two hour drive south of Spokane at Dragoon Creek Park.
One of the things I most enjoyed about Spokane was walking the labyrinthe on the banks of the Spokane River overlooking Spokane Falls.
The labyrinthe speaks of the salmon that no longer come up the Spokane River, in the words of Sherman Alexie's poem, "That Place where Ghosts of Salmon Jump."
"Look at the Falls now, if you can see beyond all of the concrete the white man has built here. Look at all of this and tell me that concrete equals love. Coyote, these white men sometimes forget to love their own mothers, so how can they love this river which gave birth to a thousand lifetimes of salmon?.. (Quote from Sherman Alexie's poem contained in The Summer of Black Widows (Brooklyn, NY: Hanging Loose Press, 1996).

Fort Vancouver is having a Metis celebration on Sunday, August 1, 2010, at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
Learn about your Metis culture and find your Metis roots.
My American cousin says that we Canadian Metis "have all the fun" -- this is an opportunity for Americans to celebrate their Metis roots.
Contact metisconsultingservices@gmail.com or call 808-342-6921, or google "Fort Vancouver National Historic Site."

And in Victoria, a group of historians is setting up a re-enactment group to celebrate their past; if you live here and are interested in taking part, I can put you in touch with an organizer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jean Baptiste Vautrin, as he appears in the Fort Alexandria journals

There are descendents of this man in the area, and for these people I am putting any information I have about Vautrin in this blog, for all to read.

Source -- Fort Alexandria Post Journals, 1842-43, B.5/a/5, HBCA
Thursday Dec. 1, 1842 -- "Rather cold. The snow of yesterday is hardened. Men employed at house, carting and two (Dubois & Vautrin) begin sawing." Vautrin was at Fort Alexandria when Anderson arrived in Nov. 1842, possibly coming north with him from Thompson's River (Kamloops). Vautrin is involved in this chore for the next few days.
Tuesday January 3rd, 1843 -- "The weather is again milder, with snow. Mr. Demers went off; accompanied by Antoine on a visit to the Atnahs. Dubois & Vautrin sawing." Mr. Demers is the missionary Modeste Demers who lived in the gentleman's quarters at Fort Alexandria when Anderson arrived there.
In February 1843 Anderson took over the charge of Fort St. James in Ogden's absence, and remained there until April 1843; this note comes from the Fort Alexandria journals, but is written before Anderson returns to the post:
Tuesday April 25 -- "Weather clear and pleasant, employments varied. About noon the long looked for party from Colvile made their appearance (Marineau, Vautrin, & an Indian) -- the express had not reached Colvile when they left 7th inst. Marineau informs me that the missing horse from the land had reached Thompson's River." Vautrin accompanied the New Caledonia express from Fort Alexandria to Colvile, something that Marineau did every spring and fall!
The brigade went out immediately after the express returned, and Vautrin is not mentioned in the post journals for the few months after -- I assume he accompanied the brigade to Fort Vancouver that summer. Even when the brigade returned Vautrin is not mentioned as being at Fort Alexandria. He may have gone all the way to Fort St. James, or stopped off at Thompson's River. He is not mentioned again in this section of the Fort Alexandria journals.

Source: Fort Alexandria Journal, 1843-1845, B.5/a/6, HBCA.
Vautrin does not appear in this journal until, on Monday November 18th, 1844, "Today [to my] very great surprise, Vautrin cast up from Thleuz-cuz, having a letter from Mr. Todd dated inst. notifying that the [fall] fishery [failed], that he had killed a horse (Rapide) some time previously for food..." So Vautrin has been at the new post in the north Chilcotin, on today's Alexander Mackenzie's Heritage Trail, all this time, I assume.
Tues. 3rd December -- "This evg. the party from Thleuz-cuz arrived, their 9th day hence. Mr. Todd is with him, having been [intended] to proceed direct to S,. Lake, owing to Delonais' absence -- the cause of their detention was their having waited at Thleuz-cuz till Vautrin arrived there." The Mr. Todd mentioned here is not John Tod of Kamloops, but a clerk new to the territory.
Saturday 4th January, 1845 -- "Fine weather. Vautrin arrived yest'y from Thleuz-cuz with acs of that post, his 9th day thence." He must have returned to Thleuz-cuz. This journal ends July 1845, the next begins in the middle of a sentence in September 1845.

Source: Fort Alexandria Journal, 1845-1848, B.5/a/7, HBCA.
In this journal Pere Nobili appears and is visiting Natives in areas surrounding Fort Alexandria, accompanied by his novice and a man named Francois who acted as interpreter.
Wednesday 18th March 1846 -- Vautrin is still at the Thleuz-cuz post. "Mr. Charles arrived from Thleuz-cuz. He set out with horses to bring the returns hither, but finding too much snow in the mountains, he has left Vautrin & wife with the packs, and is come for assistance to convey the [latter.]" By this time Mr. Charles has taken over the post from Mr. Todd.
Friday 27th March 1846 -- "Linneard began to repair the harnesses &c yesterday -- Michel with the lads arrived with the furs together with Vautrin."
Tuesday 31st March -- "Linneard, Vautrin & Lacourse having prepared the ploughs, made a beginning to plough this evening in the home field."
Wed. 1st July 1846 -- "Nothing new occurs. Gendron, Vautrin & Roi employed about the new house &c. Linneard laid up with a painful whitlow." During this summer Vautrin and Linneard remained at the fort and did not accompany the brigade to Fort Vancouver.
Thursday 16th July -- "Linneard & Vautrin thrashed some wheat for grinding, as we have not quite sufficient flour to complete the quantity (50 bags) intended for the interior."
Vautrin obviously went up to Stuart's Lake with the incoming brigade in August, because on the 9th October, 1846 -- "Yesterday evening the long expected boat from S. Lake arrived, and this morning Marineau & Ignace, with Mr. Willm. Todd on his way to Vancouver, set out to meet the East side express. Four men, Crete, Fallardeau, Vautrin, & Roi are come down to winter here."
Monday October 16th -- "Lacourse cutting wood for Charcoal. Crete & Roi laying floor &c in dwelling houses. Vautrin laid up."
Saturday 31st -- "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."
Monday 9th November 1846 -- "Fine. 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. I accordingly administered, with proper caution, some wint & water & a little laudanum, which had a salutary effect, and on my going to bed a little after midnight, the woman was much better & breathed with freedom. Towards morning, however, I was again summoned, & found her in a dying state. It appears that after sleeping tranquilly some time, she awoke and conversed a little, but ere long again relapsed. Internal flooding I suspect to have been the cause of the poor woman's death; for little appeared externally. Her bodily functions, however, were altogether much disordered and enfeebled, and the [can't read words] was in a state that indicated that it had ceased to exist for some time previously.
"On several accounts I have thought it well to give a blanket to wrap the corpse in, for internment; the deceased being powerfully connected both here & at Kamloops."
Tuesday 19th -- "Roi made coffins & a cross."
Thursday 12th -- "Strong gale from South. The internment took place today, a large concourse of Inds. attending."
Tuesday 8th December 1846 -- "I have to record that today I was under the disagreeable necessity of chastising one of the servants under my command -- the more disagreeable to me, I may add, since it is the first occasion of my having to do so for some years past; and the only one since my sojourn in N.C. 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 couple of blows, in order to maintain that authority without the possession of which one's efficiency in this country is more than doubtful." This last paragraph will shock some of you.
Saturday 26th December 1846 -- Yesterday being Christmas day, the men had a treat of meat & other dainties as usual. Today at 10am. Allard & Vautrin with Marten the Indn. set out to convey the packet to Ft. George."
Saturday January 16th 1847 -- "Vautrin returned from Ft. George, having left two men (Charbonneau & Desautels) on the way -- the former being sick & unable to travel."
Wednesday January 27th -- "Vautrin, Ignace & two lads have been employed since Monday (the former still), visiting & collecting the horses that are about."
Thursday 28th -- "Vautrin returned without having found the horses. It will therefore be necessary to continue the search."
Monday 1st February -- "Vautrin & his lads will accordingly proceed below in the search, tomorrow."
Thursday March 25th, 1847 -- "Weather continues raw & ungenial. Today Pere Nobili set out for Kamloops, accompanied by his man & Baptiste 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."
It is interesting to take a peak at one man's life and see what happened to him. Vautrin retired to Fort Vancouver and eventually Fort Victoria, where he again met Anderson after 1858.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Similkameen chief, Blackeye

This will be a posting asking for information rather than a posting giving information.
I would like to know a lot more about Blackeye and his son (or son-in-law), and I hope that someone out there has information to give me.
Anderson met the Similkameen chief the fur traders knew as Blackeye when he followed the Tulameen River canyon in a long, curving loop from the top of the Coquihalla plateau to the present town-site of Tulameen, B. C.
Somewhere close to where Tulameen now stands, the exploring party met two Native men well-known to them -- "Blackeye, the Similkameen, and his son-in-law, on their way to visit their deer snares."
Blackeye told Anderson that a good Native trail led across the height of land they had just passed over, ending at the meadow where the rhododendrons grew (Rhododendron Flat, see earlier posting).
Blackeye agreed to show the company men the trail to the top of the mountains later in the summer, when the snow had melted.

The meeting above took place in late summer 1846, but by the time Anderson had set off on his 1847 expeditions, he had made arrangements to meet Blackeye at the west end of Lac de Nicholas (Nicola Lake).
But the Native man had not arrived when Anderson made his journal entry for the day.
However, before Anderson and his party reached the Native village of Squa-zowm, where Boston Bar now stands, both Blackeye's son (or son-in-law) and Tsilaxita, the nephew of Chief Nicolas after whom Nicola Lake was named, joined his party.
Now these two Native men showed Anderson the beginnings of their newly opened road to Lac de Nicholas (Nicola Lake).
This is the trail that eventually became the new brigade trail in 1848, and is now known as the Anderson River trail.

I want to know a little more about Blackeye and his son or son-in-law.
In Anderson's journal, he referred to Blackeye and his son-in-law, but other fur traders only spoke of Blackeye's son.
I suspect that they were one and the same, but I would like to confirm that.
I would also like to know Blackeye's Native name, and that of his son, or son-in-law.
I suspect that Blackeye is the name the fur traders gave him, but it might be a translation of his Native name.
A Sto:lo website suggests that Blackeye might be the Native chief they knew as Yo:a'la, but even they don't know for sure.
Does anyone out there have this information?
Can anyone tell me the names of Blackeye, and his son or son-in-law?

The Okanagan chief, Tsilaxitsa

Alexander Caulfield Anderson left Kamloops for the last time, as a fur trader at least, in 1848 when he took over the charge of Fort Colvile.
He returned to Kamloops in 1877, when he represented the Dominion of Canada's government as their Indian Reserve Commissioner.
Fellow commissioners were Archibald McKinley, a retired fur trader who farmed at Lac la Hache, and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, an immigrant from England.
The three Commissioners could not have had more differing views of the Natives they worked with than these three men.
Archibald McKinlay thought all Natives were savages; Sproat referred to some as "doublefaced Indian chiefs."
Anderson referred to the coast Natives as "miserable fish eaters," but he admired these Interior Natives for their beauty and nobility.
But he knew Tsilaxitsa personally, and wrote in his journals that he had ridden many miles with this man.

Tsilaxitsa's name is written in various ways -- Silhitza, Chilliheetza, Chillihutza -- Anderson spelled it Sela-heetza.
Tsilaxitsa was one of the most important Okanagan chiefs of his time; his father was an Okanagan man, and his mother Chief Nicola's favorite sister who died when she was giving birth to him.
Chief Nicola adopted the infant, and Tsilaxitsa grew up in Chief Nicola's residence on Nicola Lake.
On Nicola's death, Tsilsxitsa became the nominal head of the northern branches of the Okanagan tribes and played an active role in the politics of the time, especially in relation to the land question.
Most of this information comes from 42nd Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1978, p. 59.
Interestingly enough, the author of this short biography did not connect Tsilaxitsa with the brigade trails.

In July 1877, Anderson wrote from Kamloops to say that "Sela-heetza, the Chief of the Okinagans, who when a young man travelled with me a good deal, and who has now attained great influence, came recently to Kamloops and visited our camp to pay his respects to the Commissioners.
"He afterwards visited me privately at my tent, and after a good deal of conversation imparted to me [some] of what has recently transpired among the natives at the General Councils that have been had."
Anderson finished his report with "Sela-heetza, I may add, is a man of much influence. Like the rest he is astute, and his words must be accepted with caution. Nevertheless, under the influence of old friendship, he has probably been as frank with me, privately, as his nature will admit."
(RG10, Volume 3651,File 8540, General Correspondence to and from the British Columbia Reserve Commission regarding reserves, 1877-1878, Canada, Dept. of Indian Affairs, Black Series, Library and Archives Canada).

From Anderson's journals: "Today Selixt-asposem (Five Hearts, also Moise), the Chief of this section of the Okinagans, and Sel-a-heetza, the Chief of the Nicolas Lake, his co-adjutor, sent a message asking for a private interview. We received them in the afternoon...
"Sel-a-heetza acting as chief spokesman, began by saying that they had come thus privately in order to talk of bygone things and of matters as they now stand. He referred to the late Chief, Nicholas, who as we well knew had always been the firm friend of the whites, and who, by all the white chiefs, including some of ourselves, had been regarded as a brother. That Nicholas on his death bed had spoken to Selixt-asposem, his son, and to him, Sel-a-heetza, his Nephew, urging upon them the observance of the same friendly line of conduct, and told them that when they looked at these medals at any time of difficulty, they must recall his dying words."

Anderson described the two medals: one, a very beautiful work of art, had on the front the head of King George III, and on the reverse side the arms of the HBC; the second medal was a coronation medal of Queen Victoria.
This was 1877 -- the first medal was probably given to Chief Nicola in 1824 by Governor George Simpson (See: Frederick Merk, Fur Trade and Empire, p. 132). I wonder where it is now?

At the end of the long meeting the two Native chiefs departed, and something special happened.
"We should here mention that up to this time (among the Okinagans) we have made it a point to offer nothing in the shape of the present, even so much as a pipe of tobacco, lest we might be slighted by a refusal; the Chiefs having intimated that they and their people were averse to accepting anything in the shape of a gratuity until their land question was in train of settlement... Today, however, Sela-heetza, of his own accord, before leaving us, asked for tobacco. This was of course at once given to him, as well as to his companion, and they left us in great good humour."
(RG10, Volume 3659, File 9500, Journal of the proceedings of the Commission for the settlement of the Indian Reserves in the Province of B. C., 1878, Canada, Dept. of Indian Affairs, Black Series, LAC)

Tsilaxitsa fascinated me, and I was fortunate enough to uncover his portrait in the Provincial archives, filed under landscapes! It can now be viewed online at the archives.
The original is hanging upstairs in the Archives in a darkened room, and when I was being shown the original of Anderson's 1867 map, I turned around to see Tsilaxitsa's portrait behind me.
The book was mostly written before I discovered how Anderson knew Tsilaxitsa so well!

Anderson was at Fort Alexandria when, in April 1847, clerk Montrose McGillivary arrived with dispatches from Fort Vancouver.
Anderson was to find a second route to Fort Langley from Kamloops, this time through the rugged canyons and rapids of the Fraser River.
Anderson set off from Kamloops on May 19, 1847, and shortly afterward set up camp at the west end of Nicola Lake, where he expected to meet his Native guide -- Blackeye's son-in-law.
Their guides were not yet there, but joined the fur traders where the Nicoamen River flowed into the Thompson.
In his journals Anderson said that: "Pahallak, the chief engaged by C.T. Yale, made his appearance shortly after our arrival accompanied by a large concourse of Indians of every age and sex."
But Tsilaxitsa must have been there too, or he joined the party later. Tsilaxitsa and Blackeye's son -- not Pahallak -- guided Anderson up the hills behind Boston Bar to the Nicola Valley on their return Journey.
At the top of the hills the parties separated, with McGillivray taking the Native guides to help bring the brigade in, while Anderson rode to Kamloops and Fort Alexandria.
It is in Anderson's written instructions to McGillivray that we discover that the Natives who accompanied the party included Blackeye's son and Tsilaxitsa.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lives Lived West of the Divide

For those of us who are descendents of fur traders west of the Rocky Mountains, there is a newly published book available.
I have heard for years of the work being done by Bruce Watson, a Vancouver based historian who has been collecting the stories of all the fur traders west of the Rocky Mountains.
This collection will include the story of Alexander Caulfield Anderson and his father-in-law, James Birnie.
Will it also include my g.g.g.grandfather Beaulieu's story? I cannot wait to find out.
The 3 volume book is titled "Lives Lived West of the Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858," and the author's full name is Bruce McIntyre Watson.
The publisher is Lulu.com, and the book must so far be ordered through them.
If you have an ancestor in the fur trade, rush out and purchase this 3 volume book -- I will be ordering my copy today!