Archibald McDonald was one of the half dozen most important fur traders from the entire region west of the Rockies between 1821 (when the Hudson's Bay Company and the North-West Company amalgamated) and 1846 (when the HBC's headquarters moved from the Oregon Territory to Fort Victoria). He was literate, observant, and influential, even with the notoriously autocratic Governor George Simpson. He is particularly remembered as a factor at Forts Langley, Kamloops, and Colvile, and as one of the traders who enabled the HBC to gain control of the vast region west of the Rockies. A pioneer cartographer, he also prepared the first censuses of Kamloops and Fort Langley. In this informative and entertaining collection of letters, culled from only part of McDonald's voluminous correspondence, his life as a factor, family man, amateur naturalist, and close observer of everything going on around him provides an invaluable glimpse of both the man and the Pacific Northwest between 1822 and 1844.
Jean Murray Cole is an independent writer, researcher, and historian based in Indian River, Ontario. She is the author of many regional histories and of Exile in the Wilderness: The Biography of Chief Factor Archibald McDonald 1790-1853 (University of Washington Press 1979).
Illustrations Introduction Part 1: Fort George and Thompson River, 1822-28 Part 2: Fort Langley, 1829-33 Part 3: Fort Colvile, 1834-44 Part 4: Envoi, 1845-49 Appendix Bibliography Index