Ballenden, John

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Ballenden, John

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ca. 1812-1856


HBC Chief Factor.


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While at Upper Fort Garry, Ballenden ordered the arrest of Pierre-Guillaume Sayer, a Métis trader, for illegal fur trading. Métis unrest meant that despite being found guilty, Sayer went unpunished thus signalling the end of the HBC monopoly at the Red River Settlement. In 1850, while away on business, Ballenden's wife was accused of adultery. The scandalous Foss-Pelly trial resulted in Sarah Ballenden's exoneration, while exposing racial and class prejudices in Red River. The stress of the trial permanently damaged John's health.

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Sylvia Van Kirk, “BALLENDEN, JOHN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 8, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 7, 2016,

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  • Clipboard

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  • EAC

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