Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Fort Colvile men, 1848-1852

Continuing from the previous post, these are more of the men who worked under Alexander Caulfield Anderson at Fort Colvile, in the years between 1848 and 1852. As I have told you before, this information comes from Bruce Watson's Lives Lived:

McKenzie, George, c.1820-1893 (Mixed descent)
Birth: possibly at Red River settlement
Death: Rowe's Farm, Parson's bridge, Esquimalt
The origins of George McKenzie, from Red River, are not entirely clear, but at nineteen he joined the HBC in 1839 as an apprentice carpenter. By 1846, he was no doubt working with a John Fenton constructing an additional Company sawmill and flour mill at Willamette Falls. The following year he went to Fort Colvile where he worked with James Goudie. In 1849, he was called to Fort Victoria to replace the above-mentioned Fenton.

McKenzie, Patrick, fl. 1841-1852 (Mixed descent)
Birth: probably Ruperts' Land
Death: probably West of the Rockies
Patrick McKenzie was hired on by the HBC in 1839 and first served as an apprentice post master in the Saskatchewan District. He came to Columbia in 1841 and, on December 31, 1845, after having served at Kamloops and Fort Colvile, was discharged at Fort Vancouver. He appears to have re-enlisted again, this time as an interpreter, and served at Fort Colvile from 1851-1852. He retired in 1852.

McLeod, Donald [b],c.1821-1901 (British: Scottish)
Birth: possibly near Dillmore, Barras, Lewis, Scotland.
Death: at or near St. Ignatius Mission, Montana
HBC records show his home parish to be Dillmore when he joined the HBC in 1840, either in Lewis or Canada. After making his way overland to the Pacific slopes in 1841, he spent most of his time at Fort Colvile until in 1847 (or sometime later), he was assigned to Fort Connah, on Post Creek near St. Ignatius, Montana. There he was to be the post farmer and planted wheat on two cultivated acres. However it seems he was still at Fort Colvile at least part of the time, and was assigned to Thompson River [Kamloops], in 1852.

Morelle, Joseph, fl. 1849-1854 (Canadian: French)
Birth: probably Lower Canada
Joseph Morelle joined the HBC in 1849, serving at Fort Nez Perces until 1850. From 1850 to 1854 he was middleman and labourer at Fort Colvile, and he retired after his contract was finished in 1854.

Murray, Daniel, fl. 1844-1849 (British: Orcadian Scot)
Daniel Murray joined the HBC from Deerness in 1844 on a five year contract sailing from Stromness to York Factory on the Prince Rupert. He worked at Fort Vancouver to 1846, and Fort Colvile from 1846 to 1849, when he would have left with the outgoing express about six months after Anderson at the post.

Nerin, Augustin, 1822-? (Canadian: French)
Birth: probably Baie de St. Paul, Lower Canada
Death: probably Oregon Territory
Augustin Nerin joined the HBC from Baie de St. Paul in 1839 and worked at Fort Colvile as Middleman and Boute from 1842-1846. He was sent to New Caledonia for a year but returned to Fort Colvile in 1847, remaining there till 1852.

Ogden, Michel, 1824-? (Mixed descent)
Here is one of my favorite characters, a man who accompanied Anderson on several of his expeditions across country. Michel is the son of Peter Skene Ogden by Julia Rivet, born at Spokane House in 1824. He served at Thompson's River until he came north with Alexander Caulfield Anderson in 1842 and worked at Fort Alexandria. Bruce Watson's book tells me he was post master at Kamloops in 1849-1851 and served at Fort Colvile after 1851. He worked his way through the ranks until he was placed in charge of the Flathead Post (called Fort Connah) in 1853. Michel Ogden worked until 1861 and died in Montana Territory.

Robertson, James [2], c.1827-1852 (British: Orcadian)
Birth: East Voy, Sandwick, Orkney
Death: Flathead District
James Robertson, like his two brothers before him, joined the HBC in 1847 on a five year contract that ended in 1852. He came west over the Rockies in 1848 and began to work that year. By 1849 he was at Fort Colvile. After three years of working around the Fort Colvile district, he died at the Flathead post (Fort Connah) on February 24, 1852, of a "fierce consumption," according to Alexander Caulfield Anderson. Robertson was an "excellent young man and very handy in many ways," A.C. wrote.

Roy, Thomas [2], fl. 1842-1849 (Canadian: French)
Birth: in or near Grand St. Ours or Montreal
Death: possibly Canada
Thomas Roy joined the HBC from the Montreal area in 1842 and retired twice from the Company. He retired first in 1845 from Fort Nisqually/Steamer Beaver, and rejoined again in 1846. This time he served at Fort Colvile where he was a middleman from 1846-1849.

Sagoganiukas, Ignace, c.1816-1850 (Native: Iroquois)
Birth: probably in or near Sault St. Louis, Lower Canada
Death: probably Fort Colvile area
Ignace Sagoganiukas joined the HBC in 1836 and worked on the Pacific slopes for the next fourteen years. After years of working at Fort Vancouver and New Caledonia, he came to Fort Colvile and acted as middleman, 1848-1850. In 1848-1849 he did not work the entire outfit, possibly because of illness. He died the following year of unstated causes, likely in the Fort Colvile area.

Scott, John, c.1827-? (Canadian: English)
John Scott joined the HBC from Montreal in 1845 on a three year contract, and must have acted as John Lee Lewes officer's servant at Fort Colvile, 1845-1847. Lewes (Chief Factor in charge at Fort Colvile to mid-1848) stayed at Fort Colvile for six months after Anderson arrived there, and so John Scott -- who was then District Cook -- would have known Anderson. Scott retired in 1848, six or eight months after Anderson arrived at the fort.

Stensgair, Thomas, c. 1819-1891 (British: Orcadian Scot)
Birth: possibly Birsay, Orkney
Death: probably Addy area, Washington
Thomas Stensgair joined the HBC on March 29, 1838, as a labourer. He sailed from Orkney to York Factory on the same ship as Angus McDonald, who later took charge of Colvile, a post to which Thomas was attached for twelve years. He was middleman at Fort Colvile as early as 1840, and assistant trader by 1847 to 1851, after which he became a labourer. In 1852 he retired and seettled on a homestead two miles north of Addy.

Tayarouyokarari, Michel, fl. 1851-1855 (Native: Iroquois)
Birth: probably Lower Canada
Iroquois Michel Tayarouyokarari joined the HBC in 1851 and served at Fort Colvile as a labourer and boute until 1855, when he retired.

And that is it for the Fort Colvile men between 1848-1852!
There are very few men whose names begin with any letter that comes after the M in the alphabet.
But if you remember, historians say that David Thompson appeared to employ French Canadians whose names began with 'B' -- looking at the list of French Canadians you can see that there are many more men with names beginning with a B or a letter from the beginning of the alphabet, than with a letter at the end (except for M's, which is also popular amongst French Canadians.)

There are some very interesting men in this listing of Fort Colvile employees.
Just so you know, some of these men would hardly have known Anderson.
Those who arrived at the post in 1851-1852 might only have met Anderson in passing.

An explanation: Anderson first arrived at Fort Colvile about late-August 1848, and he and his family left in early November 1851 for Fort Vancouver, exhausted and sick.
Everyone in the district, including every member of the Anderson family, was sick with influenza.
But Anderson was still in charge of Fort Colvile, and returned there with the spring express in April, 1852, after a few months break at his father-in-law's residence at "Birnie's Retreat," (Cathlamet).
Actually for much of the time Anderson was employed at Fort Vancouver, helping Chief Factor John Ballenden make some necessary changes in the running of the district -- changes that Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, now on furlough himself, had been too exhausted to make.

Anderson may have returned to Fort Colvile, but it was a short visit.
He had finally received permission to take a furlough, and leaving Fort Colvile in clerk Angus McDonald's hands he returned to Fort Vancouver.
When Anderson next visited the Fort Colvile district, he was no longer an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fort Colvile men, 1848-1852

Here's a few more men who worked under Alexander Caulfield Anderson at Fort Colvile -- there's quite a few of them.
All of these biographies come from Bruce Watson's books, Lives Lived West of the Divide.

Greig, John (c. 1825-1893) (British: Orcadian Scot)
The early life of John Greig, a tall, thin, wiry Orcadian is obscure but he was likely born in Kirkwall. He joined the HBC in 1844 and sailed to York Factory. After making his way to the Columbia, he began work at Fort Colvile as a labourer in 1845. Very little is on record at Fort Covlile, but no doubt working with blacksmith/miller James Goudie, John came to know the Goudie family and eventually married the daughter, Margaret. An engaging character, described by an anonymous writer as being humorous, an avid reader and fiddle player (like his father in law), and very religious while liking his "nip." He retired in 1851 and moved north to Fort Victoria.

Hubert, Francois Xavier (c. 1806-?) (Canadian: French)
Middleman, Fort Colvile (1842-1848); Untraced vocation, Fort Colvile (1849-1850); Middleman, Fort Colvile (1850-1852). Francois Hubert joined the HBC from Canada in 1837, and first appeared in the Columbia in 1843 on a contract that ended in 1845. In outfit 1848-49 he received his wages in England. In the next outfit, he was at Fort Colvile and retired in 1852.

Inkster, John [e] (fl. 1848-1853) (British: Orcadian Scot)
Inkster joined the HBC from Orkney on a contract which ended in 1854 and sailed for York Factory. He worked at Fort Colvile after 1849 and was a labourer at Fort Vancouver in 1852-53. He retired in the Columbia in 1853.

Irvine, Peter [a] (fl. 1851-1857) (British: Shetlander)
Peter Irvine joined the HBC from Shetland on March 7, 1850, on a five year contract. After making his way overland from York Factory, he served out his contract at Fort Colvile and left in 1855. He may have returned overland on the brigade and sailed for York Factory to Shetland; if so, he might have emigrated to Vancouver Island in 1857, but this cannot be confirmed. There are undelivered letters in HBCA, one from a desperate Mary Phillips attesting her undying love to Peter.

Johnstone, John [b] (?-1853) (British: Orcadian Scot)
John Johnston joined the HBC from Sandwick, Orkney on May 3, 1853, and sailed the following month for York Factory. He worked for many years in the Columbia, and at Fort Colvile 1849 to 1853. Toward the end of his life his constitution weakened and when he got an inflamed knee, it was more than he could take and he died on Nov. 11, 1853, at Fort Vancouver.

Kainhewait, Ignace (1815-?) (Native: Iroquois)
Columbia district and New Caledonia (1834-1845); Boute, Fort Alexandria (1846); Boute, Fort Colvile (1847-1853). Ignace Kainhenwait joined the HBC from Sault St. Louis in 1834 or 1835. He carried on until 1853, at which time he retired in the Columbia. In 1846 he deserted from A.C.Anderson's brigade of that year, and was briefly imprisoned at Fort Alexandria and released after promising to return to duty. He wanted to take his wife with him on future brigades but was denied the request.

Kaonasse, Michel (c.1815-?) (Native: Iroquois)
Michel Kaonasse joined the HBC in 1833 or 1834, and on his way to the Columbia served as a boute in the Athabasca. In March 1837 he is recorded as returning east over the mountains and in outfit 1839-40 he was paid a gratuity for an extra trip to the Columbia. While stationed at a post, he did carpentry and other work and, in outfit 1840-41, received a gratuity for services between Jasper House and Boat encampment. His wife died at Fort Alexandria April 19, 1843, while Anderson was in charge of the post and he was a boute there. Kaonasse moved down to the Columbia but was at Fort Colvile in 1851-1852 and 1852-1853. Kaonasse's contract ended in 1854 at which point he retired.

Kirorole, Baptiste (c. 1824-?) (Native: Iroquois)
Baptiste Kirorole joined the HBC in 1847 on a three year contract and crossed into the Columbia in the fall of 1847. He was Middleman, or Boute, at Fort Colvile, 1847-1852, and horsekeeper in charge of Fort Okanagan, 1852-1853. He eventually retired in 1856.

Lafleur, Joachim (c. 1806-c.1860's) (Canadian: French)
Joachim Lafleur joined the HBC from Yamaska around 1828 as a middleman and spent his career at either Thompson River or Fort Colvile. He was manager of the Okanagan post off and on with the help of Francois Duchoquette and retired in 1854 to Colvile, opening a little store near Marcus. In the 1860's, while on a trip to purchase a supply of goods, he was murdered near Walla Walla.
I think I have already mentioned that Joachim Lafleur was afraid of snakes.

Lagrave, Godfroi (c.1833-?) (Canadian: French)
Godfroi Lagrave joined the HBC from Yamaska in 1848 on a two-year contract. He came west over the Rockies and worked at Fort Rupert (1849-1851) and Colvile (1851-1856) before retiring in 1856, long after the two year contract was finished.

Landrie, Joseph [a] (c.1806-?) (Probably Mixed descent)
He might have been born in the Athabasca district, and was Middleman at Fort Colvile (1842-1845), and Fort Colvile boatbuilder (1845-1850). He was discharged in 1851.

Lapierre, Jean Baptiste [a] (c.1795-1865) (Mixed descent)
Born in Cumberland House, Jean Baptiste Lapierre spent many years in the fur trade of New Caledonia, before working for Anderson at Fort Alexandria and Thleuz-cuz post between 1845 and 1849. From 1852 to 1856 he was a labourer at Fort Colvile, and he died there thirteen years later.

Larance, Supplie (c. 1808-?) (Canadian: French)
Suplie/Tuplie Larance joined the HBC from Lavaltrie in 1831 and spent much of his career in New Caledonia as a boat builder. He was boatbuilder at Fort Colvile, 1850-1851. When he was discharged in 1851 he appeared to carry on transactions with the Company until 1853.

Working alphabetically, we now come onto two of the "gentlemen" that Alexander Anderson worked with at Fort Colvile. Both are very interesting men.

Lewes, John Lee (1791-1872) (British: English)
Birth: Southwark, England
Death: St. Andrews, Manitoba
HBC Chief Trader, Spokane House, 1821-1823; Chief Factor in charge, New Caledonia, 1845-1847; Chief Factor on furlough, Columbia Department, 1851-1853.
The son of a well known actor-singer of the day and a Miss Rigley, John Lee Lewes joined the HBC in 1807 at the age of fifteen as a writer. He worked east of the Rockies until amalgamation, at which time he was appointed chief Trader and sent for two seasons to Spokane House. Returning to various posts east of the Rockies, he was appointed Chief Factor in 1830. It was while he was in the Mackenzie River area in 1844 that he accidentally shot off his right hand. Consequently, he took a years leave of absence, taking his son, John Jr., to England. In 1845, he was to relieve Donald Manson and put in charge of New Caledonia but, "ill health ... forced him so far to remain [at] Colvile." During the cold winter days, he used to pass the time setting traps for foxes. After that, his career was dotted with one leave of absence and two furloughs until he retired on June 1, 1853.
The above is from Bruce Watson's Lives Lived, and reflects what his records says about him. John Lee Lewes was in charge of Fort Colvile when Alexander Caulfield Anderson arrived at the post, and he left the following spring with the express. Before he left Fort Colvile, he gifted Anderson with a copy of Joseph Howse's dictionary of the Cree language. I have seen the book, which was privately sold to a Vancouver collector about five years ago. In the front of the book, Anderson wrote his name and the date, with "Fort Colvile" written beneath.

McDonald, Angus [b] (1816-1880) (British: Scottish)
Birth: Craig, Ross, Scotland
Death: Flathead Reservation, Montana
HBC Passenger, Prince Rupert IV, 1837; Servant, Fort Colvile, 1839-1840; Post master and clerk, Fort Hall, 1840-1846; Post master and servant, Snake Party, 1840-1847; Clerk, Fort Colvile, 1847-1853; Untraced vocation, Fort Colvile, 1853-1856 (He was actually in charge of the district but worked out of Flathead House for most of the time, I believe); Chief Trader, Fort Colvile, 1856-1869)
Nephew to Archibald McDonald (I don't believe this is true), Angus McDonald joined the HBC as a general servant in 1838, sailing from Orkney to York Factory. Fluent in Gaelic, French, and later several Native languages, McDonald identified strongly with the Natives, particularly the Blackfeet. Preferring to live in lodges and tents, he was noted for his entertaining yarns as well as singing off key. (James Robert Anderson, A.C.'s son, loved this man.) His zest for life endeared him to the Natives and rubbed off on his family. For example, one daughter, Christine, became a fur trader in her own right at Fort Colvile.
Edward Huggins described Angus as: "..rather a good looking man, about six feet in height, straight and slim, but was said to be very wiry and strong. He had a dark complexion and long, jet black hair reaching to his shoulder, and a thick, long, and very black beard and mustache. He wore a dressed deer skin shirt and pants, a regatta, or rowing shirt, and had a blackish silk handkerchief tied loosely around his neck. He had a black piercing eye, and a deep sonorous voice, rather musical, and had a slow and rather monotonous manner of speaking."
As I have told you already (or perhaps it will be the next post when this one is published) Steve Anderson has written a biography of this man, which book will be available about October 15th. I think it should be an interesting read.

This post is a little late because I have taken some time to do the index for my book. It is now finished, and I will continue with the Fort Colvile men in the next post -- or two. I am amazed at how many there are, but the men who worked in the fur trade moved around a lot.

Angus Mcdonald of the Great Divide

If you are interested in following Alexander Caulfield Anderson around the Fort Colvile district, then I suggest that you place your order for this book:

Title: Angus Mcdonald of the Great Divide: The Uncommon Life of a Fur Trader, 1816-1889
Author: Steve A. Anderson
You can pre-order this book through Barnes & Noble (I have already done so), and Steve says that Amazon will carry it, too.
Angus Mcdonald was Alexander Caulfield Anderson's clerk at Fort Colvile and Flathead House -- Anderson's children loved the man and I think that he and Anderson were very good friends, as well.
And Angus Mcdonald was a character!!!! I will write about him in a later column, for sure.

Oh, by the way, Steve Anderson is not one of our Andersons -- he is the Administrator of the Descendants of Fort Nisqually Employees Facebook page and the retired manager of Fort Nisqually NHS.
I don't know how he got interest in Mcdonald, but he did.

Here is more information on the book.
Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Museum of North Idaho
Paperback, 208pp.
ISBN-13 9780982522028
ISBN: 0982522038 [I don't know what the difference between these two ISBN's might be).
So, order the book -- either online as I did this time, or through your local bookseller.
Remember -- when possible, support your local bookstore!!

Alexander Caulfield Anderson at Fort Colvile

In this photograph of the Coldwater River valley, you can see the east side of the range of hills that the incoming 1848 brigade climbed on their return to Kamloops from the banks of the Fraser River, where they had buried Jacob Ballenden.
That range of hills -- not quite mountains -- stands up to 4500 feet above sea-level, and about 4000 feet above the Fraser River itself.
At its highest point the trail crossed a ridge 4000 feet above sea level.
That is quite a climb for pack-horses.

Once at the top of the hill they dropped down into the Maka Creek and Coldwater River valleys, both about 3500 feet above sea level.
Once in the grassy and open Coldwater River valley the voyageurs became quite cheerful; they knew that it was easy open country between that place and Kamloops.
But they did arrive at Kamloops quite footsore -- because of the shortage of horses many (if not all) of the voyageurs had walked the entire distance from Kequeloose, where Ballenden died, to Kamloops.
According to Donald Manson, they considered that an infringement on their rights.

From Kamloops, Alexander Caulfield Anderson led his Fort Colvile men southward -- probably by the brigade trail -- to his new posting.
At Fort Colvile, Anderson took charge of three important posts and supervised 6 clerks and thirty employees.
Following are the names of some of the men who worked under A.C. Anderson at Fort Colvile, between the years of 1848 and 1852.
I am taking this information from Bruce Watson's 3-volume book, Lives Lived West of the Divide: A Biographical dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858.
No Fort Colvile journals made it to the Hudson's Bay archives, and so I have no other source.

Ateassta, Pierre (Native: Iroquois)
Pierre Ateassta joined the HBC in 1833 from Sault St. Louis and served as a boute in the Athabasca on his way to the Columbia. He appears to have lasted about twenty years as a boute. Little is known about his life, but he stayed within the Fort Vancouver/Fort Colvile area before retiring on March 1, 1852. (There is more information in the actual book).

Aurtaronquash, Louis (fl. 1837-1861) (Native: Iroquois)
Louis Aurtaronquash signed on at Lachine with the HBC as a middleman in 1837. He appears to have spent most of his time at Fort Colvile.

Ballenden, Jacob, the man I spoke of in the last posting -- then to my surprise I found the following man, his brother:

Ballenden, James (c.1822-?) (British: Orcadian Scot)
James Ballenden joined the HBC at Stromness on March 19, 1838, for five years, sailing for York Factory that year. He appeared in the Columbia records in outfit 1846-47 and was discharged in February 1852 after working as a middleman and farmer in several areas. According to his superior, Chief Factor John Ballenden, James Ballenden refused to obey the Chief Factor's orders and so was dismissed from the service and only paid until October 1, 1851. [As far as I know, the two Ballenden brothers were not related to the Chief Factor].

Berland, Edouard (c. 1800-1853) (Mixed descent)
Just when the semi-literate Edouard Berland came to the Pacific slopes has not been established, but in 1827-1828 he was an Indian trader in the Saskatchewan. From 1828-1835 he worked on the Pacific slopes as an independent, occasionally putting in appearances at Fort Colvile, but it was not until 1835 that he was actually hired by the HBC. In the fall of 1841 he had been assigned to provide Governor Simpson with horses at the Continental Divide and sketched a pictograph message with a piece of burnt wood on a tree, signing his name. After some confusion contact was made, Berland guided the party to three hot springs which he claimed had cured him from a severe illness two winters previously. After the 1846 border was drawn, Berland and his family moved upriver to Tobacco Plains. From that point he worked mainly out of Kootenae Fort until he died in 1853.

Bouchez, Vital (fl. 1848-1850) (Canadian: French)
HBC Middleman, Fort Vancouver general charges (1848-1849); Middleman, Fort Colvile (1849-1850). Vital Bouchez joined the HBC from La Prairie in 1848 and returned to Canada in 1850.

Chabotte, Jean Baptiste (c. 1828-?) (Canadian: French)
Middleman, Thompson River (1848-1850); Middleman, New Caledonia (1850-1851); Middleman and Labourer, Fort Colvile (1851-1853). Jean Baptiste Chabotte joined the HBC from Lachine in 1847. His contract was to end in 1854, but he retired one year early, probably with the blessing of the HBC as they were downsizing at the time. (That was about the time when Anderson was asking Peter Skene Ogden for more men; Anderson did not feel happy about the downsizing, obviously).

Charette, Antoine (c.1826-?) (Canadian: French)
Middleman, Columbia Dept (1847-1848); Middleman, Thompson River (1848-1851); Middle and Labourer, Fort Colvile (1851-1855). Antoine Charette joined the HBC from Riviere du Loup in 1847. He split his time between Thompson River and Fort Colvile and retired in 1855.

Craigie, William [b] (fl. 1844-1860) (British: Orcadian Scot)
William Craigie joined the HBC from Orkney in 1843, sailed to York Factory and made his way overland to the Coast. On September 1, 1849, he left for the gold fields of California but he was back by 1851, when he was assigned to Fort Colvile.

Curister, David (fl. 1845-1860) (British: Orcadian Scot)
David Curister appears to have been raised in a family of two sisters and two brothers in the township of Gorseness, Rendall, Orkney. Around 1844, he entered the service of the HBC sailing from Stromness. After he arrived in the Pacific Northwest, he worked mainly in the Fort Colvile area until 1860. (A note from me: David Curister is a character in Steve Anderson's new book about Angus McDonald, just published, and he does not appear to have been a very nice man according to Steve.)

Dease, Napoleon (c. 1827-1861) (Mixed descent: English and Salish/Flathead)
Born in 1827 to fur-trader John Warren Dease and a Flathead woman, and died at Fort Langley, September 1861. Napoleon was born into the fur trade and hired by the HBC in 1846. In 1847-1849 he was an apprentice carpenter at Fort Colvile. In 1852 he was put in charge of Fort Hope but the following year was removed because of "scandalous conduct."

Desautel (DeGaspar), Joseph (c. 1827-?) (Canadian: French)
Joseph Desautel, born Joseph DeSautel DeGasper into a Montreal family of nine children, was educated in French schools and went to work at age eleven. He joined the HBC in 1843 from Yamaska and came west where he spent the rest of his life. Throughout his career with the HBC west of the mountains, he moved progressively south until he reached Fort Colvile, where he spent the last year of his work. He retired in 1852 and remained in the area. He settled in the area and lived there for a long time, and died at Curlew Lake, west of Fort Colvile. On Alexander Caulfield Anderson's 1867 map of British Columbia, which includes the country around Fort Colvile, modern-day Curlew Lake is named 'Eliza Lake' -- probably named by Anderson for his eldest daughter.

Deschiquette, Francois (c.1819-1862) (Mixed descent)
Short and stout Francois Deschiquette was around sixteen years of age when he was hired on locally by the HBC. He is said to have been intelligent and competent in business, but fond of drink. He quit work at Thompson's River in 1849 but re-engaged in 1856 to manage the Okanogan post, though he is listed in the Fort Colvile records as a middleman in the years 1852-1856. He worked at the Similkameen post after the Okanogan post was closed in 1860. In a quarrel with Frank Peto, Deschiquette was shot, and died around forty-two years of age, most likely at the Similkameen post (at Keremeos) on August 30, 1862. His grave is on the north side of Blind creek where the old Similkameen-Fairview Road winds up the hill -- another old grave drivers speed past unaware.

Dumet, Moyse or Moise (fl. 1844-1855) (Canadian: French)
Moyse Dumet joined the HBC from St. Polycarpe in 1844 on a three-year contract. In 1847 he returned to Canada, but returned to work in the Columbia where he worked off and on until 1855. He was a middleman at Fort Colvile, 1849-52, and a labourer for two years after.

Duquette, Antoine (c.1815-1850s) (possibly Canadian: French)
Antoine Duquette joined the HBC in 1835 from Sault Ste. Louis and appears to have spent his career at Fort Colvile. In 1841 he deserted but obviously had a change of heart and returned to work in the fur trade. He is listed as Middleman and boute at Fort Colvile after 1837, and from 1847-1851 he was a Boute (boute as you know is the experienced paddler at the front or back of a canoe). He died sometime in the 1850's.

Finlay, David (?-1849) (Mixed descent)
Apprentice, Fort Colvile (1843-1847); Interpreter, Flathead Post (1847-1848); Apprentice and Interpreter, Fort Colvile (1848-1849); Carpenter, Fort Colvile, 1849. David Finlay joined the HBC in 1843 and worked in the Fort Colvile area. His contract was to have ended in 1850 but on October 1, 1849, he was killed by the Blackfeet Indians when returning to camp after being out hunting. In writing to Governor Simpson, Alexander Caulfield Anderson reported that this young man was the son of the botanist David Douglas.

Flett, Magnus (c.1821-1899) (British: Orcadian Scot)
Magnus Flett joined the HBC in 1844, sailed to York Factory and later worked on the Pacific slopes, mainly as a labourer. He worked as a farmer at Fort Colvile after 1846. When he retired in 1851 he remained in the Colvile area, finally dying of blood poisoning in 1899 at the age of seventy eight.

Flett, Thomas (c.1814-?) (British: Orcadian Scot)
Flett might have been a common name in the Orkneys and there is no indication these two men were related. Thomas Flett was a labourer at Fort Colvile after 1834, and between 1837-1839 it appears he was in charge of Fort Colvile in the summers [when everyone was away on the express?] and Kootenais post in the winters. He was sometimes Middleman at Fort Colvile (1838-1839), sometimes postmaster (1840-1842), and sometimes Interpreter and Indian trader (1842-1851). By 1856 he resided in the Colvile valley and was a citizen of United States.

Garrick, John (c.1832-1893) (British: Scottish)
John Garrick joined the HBC probably in 1850 or 1851 and came to Fort Colvile in 1852. During his time there, he appears to have carried dispatches from Colvile to Vancouver and, in the early 1850's, he took part in the Rogue War. Anderson might have known this man but would not have worked with him for any period of time.

Goudie, James [variation: Goudy] (1809-1887) (British: Orcadian Scot)
As the Goudies of Stromness had been blacksmiths for generations, James Goudie probably found himself working at the forge from an early age. However that did not prevent nineteen year old James from seeking adventure by joining a seasonal whaling vessel which took him to the David Straits in 1828. Nonetheless, back in Stromness, necessity dictated that he return to his inherited profession and so, on May 6, 1829, he joined the HBC as a blacksmith for five years. Leaving behind a widowed mother, two sisters and a married brother for the last time, he sailed to York Factory, made his way across the continent and spent the winter of 1829 at a Peace River fort. That winter, the new working environment dictated that he learn French; additionally he learned to play the violin which he built himself. His violin playing was to last for many years -- in 1849 he asked John Charles, who was passing through Fort Colvile on the Columbia Express, to obtain a fiddle or strings for him. He had begun work at Fort Colvile in 1830, and managed the fort's grist mill. (I have something to add to this story that appears to be unknown by Bruce Watson.) James Goudie came to Victoria where he died in 1887. His grave is in Ross Bay cemetery.

Gouin, Pierre (c.1807-1859) (Canadian: French)
Long-time Middleman, New Caledonia (1828-1846); Middleman, Thompson River (1846-1847); Middleman, Fort Alexandria (1847-1848); Middleman, New Caledonia (1848-1819); Middleman, Fort Colvile (1849-1850); Boute, Fort Colvile (1850-1851). Anderson would have known this man fairly well, as he worked with him at Fort Alexandria and later at Fort Colvile. Gouin retired in 1851 in the Fort Colvile area and died there in 1859.

Well, so far I have gone through the first volume of this three volume book and already I have identified a good number of the men who worked at Fort Colvile while Anderson was there.
I will continue this listing in my next posting -- well, maybe the posting after the next posting -- next weekend probably.
It is interesting to see the wide variety of men who worked in the fur trade at a single post like Fort Colvile.
Some were quite old and had a great deal of experience.
Others were young men from interesting and varying backgrounds.
Only a few were born into the fur trade and knew no other life.
We will see what I come up with in the next batch of Fort Colvile employees under Alexander Caulfield Anderson, 1848-1852.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Jacob Ballenden

A ghostly cross floating above a tangle of bushes -- a piece of fur trade history that thousands of drivers speed past every day, unaware.
This is the graveyard just south of Alexandra Lodge, in the Fraser River canyon, where Alexander Caulfield Anderson and his men buried Orkneyman Jacob Ballenden two hundred and thirty seven years ago.
His was the first grave here, but others followed, and there are now two historic graveyards at the foot of the 1848 Anderson River brigade trail where Jacob Ballenden killed himself so many years ago.

Jacob Ballenden came from Sandwick, Orkney, and entered the fur trade in 1842.
For five years he served at Fort Colvile on the Columbia River, before spending a year at Cowlitz Farm in 1847-1848.
He must have returned to Fort Colvile with the Fort Vancouver men who were sent upriver to assist the outgoing Fort Colvile brigade as they took their furs out by horseback over the unfinished Anderson's River trail to Fort Langley in 1848.
As you probably know, the Fort Colvile men always delivered their furs to Fort Vancouver by boat every summer.
But 1848 was a different year, and Jacob Ballenden's sudden death was the result of those changed circumstances.

The changes began slowly.
In 1846-1847 the measles was epidemic throughout much of Europe; it reached North America and appeared to travel from the east toward the west.
It was reported in Red River about 1846, and from there spread west and south to reach the Shoshone people of modern-day Wyoming in 1847.
The Americans who travelled the Oregon Trail were blamed for bringing the measles west, though my source, Robert Boyd's The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence; Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774-1874 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1999), says they were not responsible for the outbreak amongst the Natives at Waiilatpu.
It appears that horse-trading Natives who visited California in summer 1847 brought the disease north with them.
The illness spread quickly amongst the Indian bands that visited the Waiilatpu mission east of Fort Nez Perce, on the Columbia River -- a place where many Native tribes met, mixed, and feasted.
In July 1847, artist Paul Kane wrote of the illness that spread among the Natives returning from California, talking of their "suffering and detention by sickness."
Kane described how a surviving Native chief who had been part of this horse-trading expedition told others of his tribe what had happened:
"After describing the progress of the journey up to the time of the disease (the measles) making its appearance....he began to name its victims one afer another.
"On the first name being mentioned, a terrific howl ensued, the women loosening their hair and gesticulating in a most violent manner...
"He, after much persuasion, named a second and third, until he had named upwards of thirty."

Measles is an illness that is spread by contact, and the Natives gathered in large numbers at Waiilatpu.
They also sent messengers to all the villages nearby, and some of these messengers carried the measles virus with them.
The virus travelled north to Fort Colvile, where one hundred Native men died.
At Kamloops thirty five Natives died and all the men at the fort were flattened by the illness; at Fort Alexandria a substantial number of Natives died and everyone inside the fort fell sick.

But at Waiilatpu mission the Cayuse Natives appeared to succumb to a particularly malignant mixture of measles and dysentry.
The missionary, Dr. Marcus Whitman, continued to treat the sick with whatever medicines he had available.
An American or half-breed troublemaker named Joe Lewis had arrived at Waiilatpu in 1847, and spread rumours amongst the Natives, telling the Cayuse that Dr. Whitman was spreading poison in the air to kill off the tribe.
The desperate and frightened Natives believed Lewis and decided to get rid of Dr. Whitman.
They swarmed into the mission and massacred the residents, including Dr. Whitman, his wife Narcisse, and other missionaries or employees of the place.
In their March 1848 letter to Governor Simpson, James Douglas and Peter Skene Ogden reported from Fort Vancouver:
"...In a fit of desperation, they [the Cayuse] attacked the American Mission at Waiilatpoo near Walla Walla [Fort Nez Perce], and murdered Dr. Whitman, his accomplished Lady and 11 other American citizens, with the most heartless and revolting barbarity.
"Intelligence of that fatal disaster arrived here five days posterior to the event, through a messenger dispatched from Walla Walla by Mr. [William] McBean.
"It was immediately resolved to send up a force for the protection of the Company Establishment at Walla Walla, and, if possible, to rescue the surviving members of the unfortunate Mission family who remained in the hands of the Indians...
"Chief Factor Ogden took command of that party, and after a rapid march arrived safely at Walla Walla..."

Ogden successfully rescued many of the survivors, but as the result of the American settlers' reaction to the Waiilatpu massacre, and the distrust that had caused the massacre, many of the Native tribes along the river went to war.
The fur traders decided to bring out their furs over the trail that Alexander Caulfield Anderson had explored in 1847 through the Fraser Canyon and over the hills behind Kequeloose to the Nicola Valley.
The Kamloops and Fort Langley men patched up the road as best they could, but the four hundred horses of the combined brigades had a difficult time coming out over the virtually unimproved trail.
They had to return over the same difficult trail.
It was apparently too much for Jacob Ballenden.

A young clerk named Henry Newsham Peers kept a record of the incoming brigade of 1848: Private journal of Henry Peers from Fort Langley to Thomsons river, summer 1848 [BCArchives]
In it he recorded Jacob Ballenden's death:
"We encamped at the foot of Big hill where the road leaves Fraser River, many of Brigades only arriving when pitch dark & consequently great confusion from horses straying with their loads and so forth; several fell down a steep hill on nearing the encampment (the only bad one on the road) from weakness, threw their loads & a bale was swept off in the river before it could be seized & one animal killed.
"Deynette [?] slept here to take care of the aforesaid pieces.
"7th August -- Rainy weather -- This morning Jacob Ballenden was found dead near the encampment with his gun discharged by his side, shot thro' the heart; it is supposed he committed suicide; the day was spent in collecting strayed horses with their loads and all found but 6 pieces and another horse killed.
"A war party of the Chute indians against those of Anderson's River passed the camp and created some little alarm.
"Weather cold & showery, interred the deceased Pere Nobili saying the funeral service -- nothing I may say here for the horses to feed on."

On his arrival at Kamloops, Donald Manson reported on Ballenden's death to the Board of Management at Fort Vancouver [B.223/b/37, HBCA]:
"I am truly sorry to inform you of the death of one of our men (Jacob Balentine from Colvile) on the morning of August [7th] he was found dead about 1/2 mi. from our camp, shot through the heart, his gun lying by his side & discharged.
"Mr. Anderson with several of his men who went to carry in the body to the camp declared it as their opinion that the poor unfortunate man must have put an end to his own existence either designedly or by accident, as no traces were seen near the body which might lead to the supposition that he had been killed by Indians.
"The body was becomingly interred on the spot."

From Kamloops, Alexander Caulfield Anderson rode south east with the Fort Colvile men, to take over the command of that fort.
He would never return to Fort Alexandria, New Caledonia, where he had spent a little more than five years in command of the post.
But he would again ride over the Anderson's River trail one more time, leading the Fort Colvile men to Fort Langley and back.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Section A of the Hudson's Bay Company records

Section A is a separate section of HBCA records, which contains the Governor and Committee (London Office) Records Finding Aid.
These records were created by the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, in London.
A listing of these records have, until recently, not been available to an online search -- I know that the British Columbia archives had a listing of the Section A records on microfilm.
They are now available online at the Hudson's Bay Company archives.
There is information here that is not contained in other records, and most if not all is available on microfilm.
However, you search for these records through Keystone -- that is, the Keystone Archives Descriptive Database.

Here is how the Hudson's Bay Company archives records were originally set up, in 1920 or thereabouts:
Section A -- London Office Records (Governor and Committee)
Section B -- Post Records, which contain surviving post journals and account books, and sometimes include Lists of Men employed at the HBC posts and Miscellaneous records. The catalogue listing is viewable online and for the most part can be requested on microfilm through your local library.
Section C -- Ships' Records -- the records of various ships that sailed up and down the coast, easily accessible by microfilm.
Section D -- Governor's Papers and Commissioner's Office Documents, including Governor Simpson's outgoing and incoming correspondence.
Section E -- Private records. For example, the Anderson Family papers are those of Alexander Caulfield Anderson's older brother, James Anderson A.
Section F -- Subsidiary Companies. The records of the North West Company are in this section, as are those of other companies attached, however tenuously, to the HBC.
Section G -- Maps, which can be searched online and viewed on microfilm. If you want to order a good copy of any map, please find the HBC Archives' instructions and read them carefully.
Section H -- Western Department Land Records, which I have not viewed but which are easily accessible.
Section Z -- Miscellaneous records, which are sometimes worth requesting to see what's available, though I think they are not always microfilmed.

Except for Section A, all of the above can be searched in the Hudson's Bay Company archives and can be requested, if microfilmed.
Only Section A is searched through the Keystone Archives Descriptive Database.
You will probably have to fool around with the database to discover how it works -- I know that I found some interesting material on there.
Amongst the HBCA's Information Sheets, I found this listing of records available in Section A:

Servants' contracts, 1780-ca.1926 -- A.32/1-60
Officers' and servants ledgers and account books, 1719-1922 -- A.16/1-114
Officers' and servants' wills, 1763-1921 -- A.36/1-15
Lists of HBC servants, 1774-1841 -- A.30/1-17
Servants' character and staff records, 1822-1832, 1851-1905 -- A.34/1-5, 8

By searching through the Keystone Archives Database, you will discover which reels to request from HBCA.
I suggest searching both for headings such as "servants' contracts" and also for your ancestor's name.
If I remember, the Keystone Archives Database is part of the Manitoba Archives page rather than the HBCA search page, which might confuse you for a moment or two.
But it works, and if there is a London record you should find it on this search page.
Good luck.