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.

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