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Keenlyside, John
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1676 promissory note, Montreal

Promissory note for 57 livres written in French.

Translation: "At Montreal, 18 June 1676. I undersigned confess to owe the sum of 57 livres to Jean Aubuchon, bourgeois of Montreal."
Signed by Joachim Germaneau.

From notes provided by the donor, "An early promissory note, made out at Montreal. The note was most likely provided by Aubuchon by Germaneau in exchange for fur trade goods. As there was no payment date stated, they probably had a payment schedule in mind, perhaps at the end of the fur trading season, or when Germaneau was expecting to be paid his soldiering wages in hard currency by the government of New France.

Joachim Germaneau (? - 1717) arrived in Canada in 1665 as a soldier. He is known to have been an outfitter in the fur trade between 1692 and 1694. He, as with most military men of the time in New France, probably participated in the fur trade during his official assignments prior to 1692.

Jean Aubuchon dit l'Esperance (?-1685) was a fur trader in Montreal, and brother-in-law to the Royal Notary Adhemar. At one point in his career, he was fined 50 livres for trading liquor with the 'Indians,' which was strictly prohibited."

1692 Beaver note by Voyageur

A short note written in French.

Translation: "Gabriel Cardinal approves the obligation that Tetros and Cadieu, his friends, have undertaken towards Sieur Dufresne, in which he is responsible with them, this other than for what he has personally received, which is 42 livres 10 sols, which he promises to pay as his share of the partnership, in beaver at the price of the bureau. Drawn up this 1st of May, 1692."
Signed by Gabriel Cardinal (his mark and cross).

(witness certification) "I, the undersigned, certify that the said Cardinal gave me at Lachine, this note on which he has made his mark at the bottom, to be taken and used by Sieur Dufresne. This 1st of May, 1692."
Signed by Jean Arnaud.

(footnote) "The obligation is for 236 livres 1 sol." ('Obligation' possibly meaning 'the total debt for all partners.')

From notes provided by donor:

"A beaver note promising to pay the debt in 'beaver at the price of the bureau.' The 'bureau' was the appointed board of officials and traders in Quebec City that set the price of beaver, and in doing so set the value of the most important medium of exchange in New France, the beaver pelt.

Beaver notes, because they were secured by beaver skins at the price set by the bureau, often circulated amongst colonists due to the lack of hard currency. The notes were negotiable, and were considered money. Beaver notes are one of the earliest forms of paper currency in New France, pre-dating card money.

Gabriel Cardinal (1661 - ?) was a voyageur, and came from a family whose male members were primarily involved with the fur trade. He married in 1682.

Sieur Nicholas Jenvrin Dufresne (fl. 1690s-1700s) was a Montreal merchant.

Jean Arnaud (?-?) was a Church Warden of Montreal. He married in 1690."

1693 Promissory note signed in Michilimackinac

1693 Promissory note signed at Michilimackinac (now St Ignace, MI). Written in French.

Translation: "I promise to pay to Maurice Menard, or order, four marketable beaver, which he has lent me ... the said beaver I promise to pay him this spring in the month of June 1694. Drawn up at Michilimackinac, this 2nd day of July, 1693."
Signed by Claude Fezeret.

From notes provided by the donor:
"An early promissory note payable in 'marketable beaver,' made out at Michilimackinac, an important center through which the majority of the fur trade for the Great Lakes region was conducted at the time.

Claude Fezeret (1642-1720) came to Quebec some time before 1659. He was a master locksmith and gunsmith by profession, and from 1676 to 1681 he figured prominently in the Montreal Armourers Company (having been known as 'the first gunsmith in New France'). It seems that he also conducted business at Michilimackinac, probably servicing armaments for fur traders, and possibly taking an active and direct role in the fur trade in the Great Lakes region.

Maurice Menard (1664-?) was born in Trois-Rivieres. We know little about Menard, other than he was an interpreter at Michilimackinac, and lived there with his wife Madeline, dit Couc. They had a son Antoine, born at Michilimackinac on April 28, 1695. It appears that Madeline was one of the first white women living in the western 'Indian Country' during this period."

1780 James Grant letter

A letter from James Grant addressed to his attorney, James Walker. He refers to giving a 10 day extension to someone who owes him money and requests that Mr. Walker represent him should the need arise for him to pursue legal action against this person. Mr. Grant also mentions Jacob Jordan, Richard Dobie, and Mr. Mackenzie who are all involved with the fur trade.

Grant, James

1782 Lake Erie freight line promissory note

A beautifully handwritten receipt/promissory note for freight shipped across Lake Erie aboard His Majesty's schooner "Hope." Signed in Detroit, November 25, 1782, by Gregor McGregor for Normand MacLeod & Company. Endorsed by Thomas Dunn, Justice of Common Pleas (J.C.P.).

The note reads, "The Hope, Detroit. 25 November 1782. Received from on board his Majesty's Schooner Hope Henry Ford Commander, seven and one half Barrels Bulk of Merchandize as per Bill of Lading No.11 in the Same Condition as Shipped at Fort Erie, the freight of Which I Promise to pay on Demand, to the Naval Store keeper at Detroit, the Naval Store keeper at Carelton Island, Or to the Pay Master General of the Marine Department at Quebec, for Which I have Signed two Receipts of the Same Tenor and Date. Box N.36 Shott half out. (signed) Gregor McGregor for McLeod & Co."

Docketed:
"No.11 Receipt to be Signed [by] Mr. McLeod"
"1782 McLeod & Macknamara"
"No.14 = 7 1/2 B.B." (where '14' is written in pencil)
"Judgement Montreal 15 Nov 1792 Thom. Dunn JCP"

From notes provided by the donor: "Shortly after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776, the British Inland Marine (ultimately under the control of Guy Carleton, Governor of Quebec) restricted movement on the Great Lakes to the King's vessels in an effort to control or eliminate the smuggling of goods that might potentially assist the rebellious 'enemy' to the south. Within this arrangement, fur traders and merchants were allowed to have their goods shipped aboard the King's vessels, provided that there was room (over and above the needs of the Navy and other official Military personnel). Goods and furs were shipped aboard the vessels, and 'Freight Notes' were issued to confirm not only the receipt of goods but also to state a promise to pay (at some later date) for the service. In the end, many of these promissory notes were not settled: many of the trades and merchants were summoned to court for non-payment whereas others delinquent in payment were simply dismissed.

Problems aboard the ships were commonplace, and shipments were lost and damaged, with little recourse for compensation. Throughout this period, the traders and merchants (essentially the core of what was to become the North West Company and their opposition groups) complained, and eventually were permitted to have a few of their own private vessels on the Great Lakes to conduct their business activities.

Two years after the conclusion of the Revolutionary war, American and British delegates met in Paris to formalize Britain's recognition and acceptance of the United States of America, and signed the Paris Treaty of 1783. However, the inland maritime restrictions were in place until about 1787, when more private vessels were allowed to operate on the lakes.

This 'Freight Note' is a rare example of fur trade ephemera from a critical period of instability in the region following the British Conquest of New France and the enactment of the Quebec Act. It exemplifies the structured presence and control of the British over the Great Lakes, and the law-abiding fur traders and merchants who wished to continue their trade in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty.

Normand MacLeod (d. 1796) was an army officer who entered the fur trade in 1774. He developed a partnership with Gregor McGregor, and by 1779 included John Macnamara (a prominent merchant in Michilimackinac) as a new partner. In 1781, he became associated with John Gregory of Montreal in the firm of Gregory, MacLeod and Company (among whose Wintering Partners was a young Alexander Mackenzie). Gregory, MacLeod and Company proved to be the main opposition to the North West Company, and by 1787 were absorbed into the association. In 1790, MacLeod sold his share and retired."

1793 Todd, McGill & Co. legal action

Three documents related to a court action taken by Todd, McGill & Co. for 6.12.5 pounds. They recovered the amount. The first document is written in English, with the following documents written in French.

From notes provided by the donor: "Todd, McGill & Co. included Isaac Todd and brothers James McGill, John McGill, and Andrew McGill. The firm was concerned mainly with the fur trade south-west of the Great Lakes region. James McGill left a large part of his estate to found McGill University in Montreal."

1798 Warrant to Summons, signed by Alexander Henry & Alexander Auldjo

Warrant to the Sheriff to summon 12 principal householders. Signed and sealed in Montreal 1798 by Alexander Henry (the elder) and Alexander Auldjo. Also endorsed by Sheriff Wm. Gray.

From notes provided by the donor: "Known by the Natives as 'the handsome Englishman,' Alexander Henry was one of the first English traders to pursue the fur trade in Canada upon the fall of New France. He was one of the founding members of the Beaver Club, and together with his nephew Alexander Henry the younger, acquired a share in the North West Company in 1792. He related his early experiences in his celebrated book 'Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, Between the years 1760 and 1776.'

Alexander Auldjo, a leader among Montreal businessmen in the 1780s, invested considerable sums in the Canadian fur trade, bought and sold property, and administered estates. He also had intimate dealings with other noteworthy Montreal merchants, namely William Maitland, Richard Dobie, and Simon McTavish.

With regard to the present document, Henry and Auldjo, in the capacity of 'His Majesty's Justices to Keep Peace in Montreal,' consider an application by Peter Foretier to subdivide a six-acre piece of land 'situated near the Town Walls, along the rivulet commonly called the Montreal River.' In this light, the document proposes to summon twelve principal householders of the district to appear before the justices to consider the proposed subdivision."

1801 voyageur contract

A printed form contract in French. Signed in 1801 by Louis and Joseph Belair, Pierre Champoux, and public notary Maurice deGlandons. By this contract, Pierre Champoux signed on with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. as a voyageur.

1802 voyageur contract

A letter-press printed form contract. This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment as a voyageur with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. This contract is signed by A[?]ais Gregoire.

1802 voyageur contract

A letter-press printed form contract. This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment as a voyageur with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. This contract is signed by Jacques Roy, with Mr. Frederick Singer signing for the company.

1803 voyageur contract

This item is a fill-in-the-blank contract offering employment with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. It is signed by Francois Piquette. There are numerous alterations to the contract made in the margins.

1806 voyageur contract

This is a fill-in-the-blank contract for employment with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Charles Laneuville. It was signed in Montreal. There are numerous revisions to the standard contract written in ink.

1806 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with McTavish, Frobisher & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Ignace Roberts, who signed in Montreal.

1808 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank form is an employment contract with McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Francois Lefevre, who signed in Montreal.

1811 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank form is an employment contract with McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Louis Mallette, who signed in Montreal.
This form was printed by Imprimerie de Brown.

1811 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Pierre Mailloux, who signed in Montreal.
The form was printed by Imprimerie de Brown.

1811 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. and John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain. It is signed by Andre Langevin, who signed in Montreal.
The form was printed by Imprimerie de Brown.

1820 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & Pierre de Rocheblave. It is signed by Louis Chouinard, who signed in Montreal. It appears that A. N. Macleod signed for the company, although the last few letters of the signature are difficult to make out.

1802 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract was originally for employment with Parker Gerrard & Ogilvy, but this name is crossed out and replaced with Alexr. Mackenzie. It is signed by Michel Dantigny, who signed in Montreal.

1807 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with Parker Gerrard Ogilvy & Co. It is signed by Charles Monnette de Boismis, who signed in Montreal.

1806 voyageur contract

This fill-in-the-blank contract is for employment with Forsyth Richardson & Co. but the clerk who filled in the form began writing "Richardson" first before crossing it out. This contract is signed by Jacques Commercie (father), who signed in Montreal.

The Jurisdiction Act of 1803

Titled: "An Act for extending the Jurisdiction of the courts of Justice in the Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, to the Trial and Punishment of Persons guilty of Crimes and Offences within certain Parts of North American adjoining to the said Provinces." Removed from a bound volume, pages numbered 1433-1435. Printed in London, Great Britain by Eyre and Strahan.

From notes provided by the donor: "Known as 'The Jurisdiction Act of 1803,' this piece of legislation was enacted as a direct result of the offences and crimes committed within the 'Indian Territories' by the XY Company and the North West Company, in their struggle to dominate the fur trade out of Montreal. As seen later, during the 'Pemmican War' lawsuits, the legality of the act was thrown into question, and was later deemed to be inadequately worded to enforce the rule of law in the regions outside of Upper and Lower Canada."

1818 Pierre Pambrun Indictment, Pemmican War

Indictment for Robbery, signed in Montreal, 1818.

Docket reads: "No. 19. King's Bench, Montreal. March Term, 1818. Dominus Rex vs. Pierre C. Pambrun, Jean Bte. Girard, Antoine Robillard, Jean Bte. Lagarde, Frans. Boucher & Benonie Marie. Indictment for Robbery. A True Bill. [signed] Fs. Rolland, foreman. Witnesses: Jean Gab. Lalonde, dt. La Prielle, Jean Bte. Chauvin. Process. fyled 5 March. [signed] N.F. Uniacke, Atty Genl."

From notes provided by the donor: "This original document outlines the charge of robbery against Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun (1792-1841) and his associates (all employees of the Hudson's Bay Company), which took place on the 10th of November 1816. The indictment was officially filed with the Court of King's Bench in Montreal on 2nd of March 1818.

The charge is stated (in essence) as:

'With force and arms at a place called 'Lapuise' the accused men (employees of the HBC) assaulted and endangered the life of Joseph Belcour (trader with the NWC [North West Company]) on the 'highway' aforesaid (Lac des Cedres Rouges), and stole 9 beaver skins, 25 musk rat skins, 2 otter skins, 1 bear skin, 1 keg of gun powder, one sack of lead balls (28 pounds weight), 1 roll of tobacco (65 pounds weight), 9 pairs of woollen blankets, 3.5 yards of scarlet cloth, 14 yards of blue cloth, 21 yards of blue cloth, 6 frocks (commonly called capots made of woollen cloth or molton), 3 figured flannel robes, 1 pound and ten ounces weight of beads, 200 gun flints, 1 piece and one-half piece of broad tape, 1 Indian knife, 3 clasp knives, three-quarters of a pound of vermilion, 1 gimblet, 23 shoemaker's awls, 12 gun worms, and 4 dozen metal rings powder (each listed with values), the goods and chattel of 'certain persons' (i.e., Joseph Belcour, on behalf of the NWC).'

Pierre Pambrun was a long-time employee and servant of the HBC, and was intimately involved in the 'Pemmican War' disputes between the HBC and the North West Company, primarily during the years 1814 to 1816. Pambrun, as witness, provided the courts with his observations and experiences of various skirmishes between the two companies. His evidence was included in published accounts of the trials.

Not much is known about Joseph Belcour, aside from the fact that we know that he was employed by the NWC in 1811 at Athabasca River. Although not stated on the document, we can safely conclude that he was still associated with the NWC during the time of this incident, as the document is written in the style and format of similar indictments brought against the HBC by the NWC. We can also safely concluded that this legal action taken was paid for by the NWC coalition, as part of a larger retaliatory action against the HBC, in the fight for unrestricted access to furs and supplies (i.e., pemmican) in western Canada.

Norman Fitzgerald Uniacke, son of Nova Scotia's Attorney General Richard John Uniacke, was Attorney General of Lower Canada at the time of the 'Pemmican War' hearings. He was a controversial figure, and was criticised for his very superficial acquaintance with criminal law and inadequate knowledge of civil law.

This official document was brought before the courts in Montreal, but did not proceed to completion owing to the fact that the 'Jurisdiction Act' of 1803 did not clearly state the jurisdiction of the courts of Lower Canada. Thus, the 'Indian Countries' fell outside of their area of responsibility. In addition, it was argued that the trials would not escape sympathetic influence of Montreal residents (including lawyers) connected in some way to the NWC. Thus, the trials were moved to York (Toronto), and the legal actions continued in the fall of 1818."

1821 Act for regulating the Fur Trade

Titled: "An Act for regulating the Fur Trade, and establishing a Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction within certain Parts of North America. (2d July 1821.)" Removed from a bound volume printed in London, Great Britain by Eyre and Strahan in 1821. Pages are numbered 569-575.

From notes provided by the donor: "This act, released shortly after the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, granted exclusive trading rights to the 'new' H.B.C. for a period of 21 years. The act also extended the legality of the 'Jurisdiction Act of 1803' to include all territory specified by the H.B.C.'s lease."

1830 Assignment of stock, McGillivray to Ellice

This is Edward Ellice's copy of an indenture between John Richardson, George Gregory and Samuel Gerrard of the First Part, Simon McGillivray of the Second Part, and Edward Ellice of the Third Part.

Docket reads: "Dated 29 Sept 1830, The trustees of Simon McGillivray Esq & the said Simon McGillivray to Edwd Ellice Esq, Copy Assignment of Hudsons Bay Stock and other Trust Effects in consideration of £110,000 [line] 1700. Norman Bethune Tutor Pltf vs. The Right Honourable Edward Ellice Defdt., Defendants Exhibit No.4 Filed Feb. 20th 1839 [signature illegible]."

From notes provided by the donor: "This indenture between John Richardson and George Gregory (formerly of the XY Company and North West Company), Simon McGillivray (formerly of the North West Company), and Edward Ellice (formerly of Phyn, Ellices and Inglis of Schenectady and the North West Company, and later of the Hudson's Bay Company) details the arrangements made regarding the financial interests of those holding title in the consolidated fur trade concern (formerly that of the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company).

Throughout the document, many details are given with respect to share and stock allocations to individual traders and trading groups. The docket states that this document was used as "Defendant's Exhibit No. 4" in a litigation filed 20 Feb. 1839, naming Norman Bethune as plaintiff and Edward Ellice as defendant. Edward Ellice stands out as one of the main players in bringing about the union between the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. Upon the failure of McTavish, McGillivrays and Company in 1825, he became the only one who stood between the Hudson's Bay Company and the claims of discontented members of the North West Company. As a result, Ellice became involved in the series of litigations which lasted for 25 years. Norman Bethune was among the many people seeking financial compensation through Ellice."

1846 Article regarding the HBC Charter

Titled: "A Few Words on the Hudson's Bay Company." Written by Alexander Kennedy Isbister, and published by C. Gilpin in London, likely in 1846. This copy has been removed from a bound volume. It is a review of the status of the H.B.C. with petitions for redress of grievances.

Isbister, Alexander Kennedy

1850 Rights and Powers of HBC

Docket reads: "Papers relating to the Legality of the Powers in respect to Territory, Trade, Taxation and Government claimed or exercised by the Hudson's Bay Company, on the Continent of North America, under the Charter of Charles the Second, or in Virtue of any other Right or Title. Ordered by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 12 July 1850."

A look at the rights claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, including copies of correspondence, replies, opinions, and a map.

1853-55 Fort Simpson Journal

From the first report provided by the donor (see notes on accompanying materials below): "The Fort Simpson Journal contains the expected daily and routine entries on weather conditions, entertaining descriptions of the laborers and their occupations, and general comments on trading activities. The journal also contains a plethora of lengthy and intensely interesting entries describing specific activities and events hitherto unknown and unrecorded elsewhere."

The author of the Fort Simpson journal is William Henry McNeill (1801-1875). He does not name himself in the journal itself, but the donor has provided research identifying him through HBC Archives documents. McNeill took charge of Fort Simpson in 1851, was appointed Chief Factor in 1856, left from 1859-1861, before finally departing the fort in 1863. The town of Port McNeill on Vancouver Island is named for him.

The Hudson's Bay Company founded Fort Simpson, which eventually developed into Port Simpson and later Lax Kw'alaams. It is located on the coast of British Columbia.

McNeill, William Henry

Resolution challenging HBC rights

A document titled: "Resolutions to be moved by Mr. Dawson for An Address to Her Majesty, on the subject of the North Western parts of this Province, the Indian Territories and the Hudson's Bay Company." From the first (1st) session of the sixth (6th) Parliament. Printed by order of the Legislative Assembly by the printer John Lovell in Toronto.

This document has eighteen (18) resolutions outlining the history of the Hudson's Bay Company, challenging the validity of HBC's trading rights, and proposing that their lease to trade within the so-called "Indian Territories" not be renewed.

1858 Resolution: renewal of HBC rights

A document titled: "Resolutions to be proposed by the Hon. Mr. Loranger, in reference to Rupert's land, the Indian Territory and the affairs of the Hudson Bay Company." Printed by the Queen's Printer, S. Derbishire & G. Desbarats.

The six (6) resolutions propose a limited renewal of the Hudson's Bay Company's trading rights. The proposal is for the Canadian government to assume all territory the HBC claimed, allowing the company to retain only those lands on which it had built or otherwise improved. The HBC would not be eligible for compensation from lands lost.

1871 HBC deed poll

A document titled: "Deed Poll by the Governor and Company of Hudson's Bay, for conducting their trade in North America, and for defining the rights and prescribing the duties of their officers." Printed by Sir Joseph Causton & Sons, London, United Kingdom.

From notes provided by the donor: "An internal document outlining the rights and duties of H.B.C. officers, outlines the number of Chief Factors, Factors, Chief Traders and Junior Chief Traders, the distribution of shares, and many other details."

1887 HBC deed poll

A document titled: "Deed Poll by the Governor and Company of Hudson's Bay, for conducting their trade in North America, and for defining the rights and prescribing the duties of their officers, 1871. Amended by Shareholders, June 27th, 1876; June 24th, 1879." Printed by Sir Joseph Causton & Sons in London, United Kingdom.

From notes provided by the donor: "An updated version of the Deed Poll issued in 1871, outlining the rights and duties of H.B.C. officers, outlines the number of Chief Factors, Factors, Chief Traders and Junior Chief Traders, the distribution of shares, and many other details.

1933 HBC Fur Trade Post Manual

On the cover: "Hudson's Bay Company incorporated 2nd May 1670, Post Manual, Fur Trade Department."
Inside the front cover, someone has written "No. 18" in ink, and someone has penciled in "ca. 1933."

This document is a compilation of regulations for the Fur Trade Department, with room at the end for postmanagers to insert additional memoranda. All pages are typewritten. This particular copy is in such fine condition as to suggest it was never used.

23 NWC Voyageur Contracts

Twenty-three (23) pre-printed contracts with hand-written particulars added.

  • Company; Boss; Employee; Date
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co.; Jean-Marie Boucher; Antoine Moreau (son); January 5, 1801
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co.; Joseph Olivier; Joseph Jubinville; December 28, 1802
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co.; Jean-Marie Boucher; Jeremie Bruno, son of Jean Baptiste Bruno; December 22, 1803
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co.; Jean-Marie Boucher; Hiacynthe Thibeau with the consent of his father Jean Baptiste Thibeau; November 24, 1803
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; John Gregory; Joseph Ladouceur; March 22, 1806
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; John Gregory; Joachim Ladouceur with the consent of his father Joseph Ladouceur; March 31, 1806
  • McTavish, Frobisher & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; John Gregory; Etienne Parisien; July 11, 1806
  • McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; A. McLeod; Jean Baptiste Chatelle; October 30, 1811
  • McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; A. McLeod; Augustin Gagdon de Sorel; October 30, 1811
  • McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & John Ogilvy & Thomas Thain; A. McLeod; Fran Beauparlant; October 30, 1811
  • McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & Kenneth McKenzie; A. McLeod; Jean Baptiste Lassoureux; February 19, 1816
  • McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. & Pierre de Rocheblave; A. McLeod; Louis Bergeou; January 9, 1821
  • Alexandre McKinzie & Co.; Pierre St. Vailier Mailloux; Jacques Bertiaume; January 30, 1802
  • Alexander MacKenzie & Co.; Joseph (?)Janiant; Joseph Martin; October 27, 1803
  • Alexander MacKenzie & Co.; Joseph (?)Janiant; Gervais Rivard; October 29, 1803
  • Parker Gerrard Ogilvy & Co.; (?); Joseph Boullard; March 14, 1807
  • Forsyth Richardson & Co.; (?); Jean Baptiste Avost dit Blondin; April 17, 1806
  • Forsyth Richardson & Co.; (?); Joseph Troye; September 16, 1806
  • William Smith (?) of Detroit; (?); Augustin Roy; August 21, 1800

The final four contracts should be examined in person for interpretation. They are from 1805 and 1807.

1776 Handwritten Voyageur Contract

A handwritten voyageur contract for the position of “Devant” (Bowsman), signed in Montreal on September 2, 1776. This document contracts Joseph Leger dit Parizeau as a bowsman for Joseph-Louis Ainsse for the salary of 450 francs “currency of the country.” The outline of the contract was pre-written in black ink and later filled in with particulars by Francois Simonnet in a paler ink.

1845 Letter from James Douglas

A hand-written letter written by James Douglas to James M. Yale, Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Trader at Fort Langley, British Columbia. This letter was sent from Fort Victoria. Douglas writes about recent events and expresses some opinions about many of the issues facing the Pacific Northwest operations of the HBC.
From notes provided by the donor: “Douglas sheds light on the following issues of the time:
a) H.B.C. servants and their suitability for advancement
b) Furs and fur returns
c) Agricultural crops and the weather affecting yield in the region
d) The visit by Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, having travelled overland from Red River and into the Columbia River through the Coutonais (Kootenay) Portage, in the company of British Officers Henry J. Warre and Mervin Vavasour (on their ‘secret’ military reconnaissance of the Oregon Territory)
e) The arrival and operations of H.M.S. America, under the charge of Captain John Gordon (the brother of Lord Aberdeen, Foreign Secretary at the time, and later Prime Minister)
f) Activity of H.B.C. traders: Chief Factor Lewis (sic), Chief Trader John Work, and Donald Mason
g) Returns of the most recent Outfit (the yearly trade cycle of the fur trade)
h) The wretched state of John Clarke (a long-time H.B.C. employee, who has fallen on hard times)
i) The potential for salt to be gathered from salt marshes on Cowegen (Cowichan) lands, without attracting the attention of the Americans, who would undoubtedly try to capitalize on the resource
j) A visit from American whaling ship captains, whose ships are lying at anchor in Neah Bay.”

Douglas, James, Sir

1850 Letter from Donald Ross to James Keith

Handwritten letter from Donald Ross, Chief Factor of Norway House, to his friend James Keith in Aberdeen [Scotland]. James Keith was formerly the Chief Factor at Fort Chipewyan. In this letter, Ross writes about the poor mood he's suffered over the past year, laments the scarcity of furred animals, and predicts that gold will be the basis for the Hudson's Bay Company profits in the future. He expresses doubt that profits from coal will ever amount to much.

Ross, Donald

1822 - Expediency of Occupying the Columbia River

From the title page: "Report Of the Select Committee, appointed on the 10th ultimo, to inquire into the expediency of occupying the Columbia river, and to regulate the intercourse with the Indian tribes; accompanied with a bill to authorize the occupation of the Columbia River. January 18, 1822. Read, and, with the bill, committed to a committee of the whole House to-morrow."

Pages 9 and 10 refer to the rich profits being made in the Canadian Fur Trade, with particular mention of Alexander Mackenzie’s explorations to the west coast and the profits made by the North West Company.

Prevost's Letter

This book is a compilation of documents prepared for the American House of Representatives by President James Monroe. The title page reads: "Message from the President of the United States, communicating the Letter of Mr. Prevost, and other Documents, relating to an establishment made at the mouth of Columbia River." Dated January 27, 1823. Printed by Gales & Seaton. Documents included concern Mr. Prevost, the North West Company, and John Jacob Astor.

1857 Copy of a Letter & Memo from Chief Justice Draper

From the docket: “Hudson’s Bay Company. Copy of the Letter addressed by Mr. Chief Justice Draper to Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonies, bearing date the 6th day of May 1857, together with a Copy of the Memorandum therein referred to, relative to the Hudson’s Bay Company. (Mr. Labouchere.) Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 16 June 1857.”

This letter and enclosure request that British Parliament settle the question of the exact boundaries between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Province of Canada. From page 5: "The rights of the Hudson’s Bay Company, whatever they may be, are derived from the Crown; the Province of Canada has its boundaries assigned by the same authority; and now that it appears to be indispensable that those boundaries should be settled, and the true limits of Canada ascertained, it is to Her Majesty’s Government that the Province appeals to take such steps as in its wisdom are deemed fitting or necessary to have this important question set at rest.”

Memorial of Charles Bulfinch

From the title page: "Doc. No. 43, 26th Congress, 1st Session, House of Representatives. Memorial of Charles Bulfinch, et al., praying that their title to certain lands in the Territory of Oregon may be confirmed. January 13, 1840. Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs." Printed by Blair & Rives.

This document is a request that the United States government recognize the ownership of parcels of northwest pacific land bought by Captain Kendrick in 1791 from island natives during his exploration of modern day Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Captain Kendrick died in 1794. In 1840, several parties together petitioned Congress to enforce their rights to these lands: Charles Bulfinch, Sampson V. S. Wilder, Samuel B. Barrell, Henry Hatch, William Vernon, Joseph Kendrick, and Alfred Kendrick.

1857 Copies of Despatches Regarding the Establishment of a Representative Assembly at Vancouver's Island

On the cover: Vancouver's Island-Return to an Address of the Honourable The house of Commons, dated 25 June 1857;-for "Copies of Extracts of any Despatches that have been received by Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, on the subject of the Establishment of a Representative Assembly at Vancouver's Island."

Document is a compilation of Despatches, (original spelling), from the Right Hon. H. Labouchere, M.P., and from Governor Douglas, regarding correspondence relating to the establishment of a representative assembly at Vancouver's Island. All pages are typewritten, with minor foxing along the edges.

1858 Correspondence Relating to The Hudson's Bay Company

On the cover: Hudson's Bay Company-Return to an Address of the Honourable The House of Commons, dated 16 February 1858;-for, "Copies or Extracts of any Correspondence that has taken place between the Colonial Office and the Hudson's Bay Company, or the Government of Canada, in consequence of the Report of the Select Committee on the Affairs of the Company which sat in the last Session of Parliament."

[185-] British Columbia Proclamation

Titled: British Columbia. Proclamation.
Proclaims James Douglas to have the ability to make laws, institutions and ordinances for the governance of British Columbia, along with the ability to acquire un-surveyed land in British Columbia for British subjects.

British Columbia Proclamation

Titled: British Columbia. Proclamation.
Proclaims James Douglas to have the ability to make laws, institutions and ordinances for the governance of British Columbia, along with the ability to acquire un-surveyed land in British Columbia for British subjects.
Duplicate of 2011.103.003

An Act to Raise a Loan for Victoria and Esquimalt Harbour Dues

Title: An act to authorize the raising of a Loan of Ten Thousand Pounds upon the security of the Dues and Monies levied by virtue of the "Victoria and Esquimalt Harbour Dues Act 1860."

Document describes the payment to the Treasury of Vancouver Island in a separate fund titled the "Harbour Fund," along with the creation of a Harbour Commission.

Proclamation for the Government of British Columbia

Title: British Columbia Proclamation By His Excellency James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia and its Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c.

Details the making of James Douglas as the Governor of the Colony of British Columbia with all the power to make laws, institutions, and ordinances, for the peace, order and good Government of the same. Details the allowance for the raising of funds and loans for the establishment of the colony.

Roman Catholic Land Act 1861

Title: British Columbia Proclamation by His Excellency James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia and its Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c.

Details the power granted to James Douglas and his intentions to set aside land for the use of the Roman Catholic Church. Proclamation to be cited as the "Roman Catholic Land Act, 1861."

Pre-Emption Consolidation Act, 1861

Title: British Columbia Proclamation By His Excellency, James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia, and its Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c.

Details the amendment of the laws affecting the settlement of unsurveyed Crown Lands in British Columbia. This proclamation may be cited as the "Pre-emption Consolidation Act, 1861."

Cook's Ferry and Clinton Road Bond Act 1863

Title: British Columbia Proclamation No. 9, A.D. 1863 By His Excellency James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia and its Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c.

Details and Indenture between Richard Clement Moody and William Hood regarding the creation of Waggon Road and Works.

Crown Officers' Salaries Act, 1863

Title: British Columbia Proclamation No. 12, A.D.1863, By His Excellency, James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia, and its Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c.

Details the pay to be determined for those holding government positions in British Columbia.

Budget for British Columbia for the year 1864

Title: British Columbia No. 3. An Ordinance to apply the sum of One hundred and thirty five thousand, six hundred and thirty nine pounds, sixteen shillings and seven pence, Sterling, out of the General Revenue of the Colony of British Columbia and its Dependencies, to the service of the year One thousand eight hundred and sixty four.

Contains the schedule, including costs, for all the government departments necessary for the running of the British Columbian government.

The First Telegraph Act, 1864

Title: An Act To grant the right to construct a Telegraph Line connecting Victoria with the Telegraph System of the United States, and for other purposes.

This act, signed in print by James Douglas, the first governor of the province of British Columbia, authorized the construction of a telegraph line connecting Victoria with the California State Telegraph Company.

Treaty Between Her Majesty and the USA Regarding the Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies

Title: Treaty Between Her Majesty and The United States of America, for The Settlement of the Claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies Signed at Washington, July 1, 1863. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty. 1864

Details the various articles surrounding the settlement of the claims between The Hudson's Bay Company and Puget Sound, WA, USA.

1866 Ordinance for the Yearly Budget

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. Victoriae Reginae. No. 4. An Ordinance to apply the sum of Seven Hundred and Twenty Two Thousand One Hundred and Fourteen Dollars and Five Cents, out of the General Revenue of the Colony of British Columbia and its Dependencies, to the service of the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Six.

Details the request for money for the year from the British Government in order to run the Colony of British Columbia. Back page lists the salaries of government officials, as well as the cost for services.

The Companies' Ordinance, 1866

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. Victoriae Reginae. No. 5. An Ordinance to amend the Law relating to Joint Stock Companies.

Details 12 changes/amendments made to the Joint Stock Companies Laws in British Columbia.

The Ferry Ordinance, 1866

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. Victoriae Reginae. No. 9. An Ordinance for the Regulation of Ferries and Bridges.

Details additional rules and regulations placed upon ferries and bridges, including maintenance, toll charges, and proper conduct.

1864 & 1865 Ordinance for the Budget of the Colony of British Columbia

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. No. 11. An Ordinance granting a Supplemental Supply of Thirty-two Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty-six Pounds, Seven Shillings, and Five Pence, out of the General Revenue of the Colony of British Columbia and its Dependencies, to the service of the years One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-four and five respectively.

Details the request to the British Government for additional funds for the running of the Colony of British Columbia.

Pre-emptions Ordinance, Short Title, 1866

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. Victoriae Reginae. No. 13. An Ordinance further to define the law regulating the acquisition of Land in British Columbia.

Details 4 clauses to be used to further define the laws governing land acquisition in British Columbia, centering around the adjustment of boundaries and other matters.

The County Court Ordinance, 1866

Title: British Columbia. Anno Vicesimo Nono. Victoriae Reginae. No.14. An Ordinance amending the procedure of the County Courts of the Colony of British Columbia.

Details the creation and amendment of rules concerning a clear and speedy method of recovering small debts in British Columbia.

The Game Ordinance, Short Title, 1867

Title: British Columbia. Anno Tricesimo. Victoriae Reginae. No. 8. An Ordinance to prohibit the unseasonable destruction of Game.

Details the creation of ordinances in order to protect game of various descriptions from being killed out of season.

The Fence Ordinance, 1869

Title: British Columbia. Anno Tricesimo Secundo. Victoriae Reginae. No. 9. An Ordinance to provide for the Fencing of Land in British Columbia.

Details the creation of ordinances to provide for proper fencing of lands in the colony of British Columbia.

Papers Relating to Rupert's Land

Title: Canada (Rupert's Land). Copy or Extracts of Correspondence between the Colonial Office, the Government of the Canadian Dominion, and the Hudson's Bay Company, relating to the Surrender of Rupert's Land by the Hudson's Bay Company, and for the Admission thereof into the Dominion of Canada. Ordered by The House of Commons.

Contains multiple letters to and from various parties, including: Despatches [sic] from the Governor, Despatches from the Secretary of State, Correspondence Between the Colonial Office and the Hudson's Bay Company, Correspondence Between the Colonial Office and Sir G. Cartier and Mr. McDougall (Delegates).

Papers on the Union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada, 1869

British Columbia. Papers of the Union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada [March 1868 to March 1869]. Includes the letter to Governor Seymour by delegates of a Convention held at Yale, B.C., with a copy of the resolutions passed, and an Address on the desirability of establishing Representative Institutions, with responsible Government, in the Colony, and the necessity for retrenchment in the public expenditure. [Donor's notes].

County Courts Amendment Ordinance, 1870

Title: British Columbia. Anno Tricesimo Tertio. Victoriae Reginae. No. 10. An Ordinance to alter and amend the "County Court Ordinance, 1867".

Details the amendments made to the County Court Ordinance of 1867 for the purpose of better administering justice.

The Election Regulation Act, 1871

Title: British Columbia. Anno Tricesimo Quarto. Victoriae Reginae. No.13. An Act to regulate Elections of Members of the Legislature of this Colony.

Details certain provisions made as to the regulation of elections of members of the Legislative Council

Keenlyside Fur Trade Collection

  • FC 3212 K44
  • Collection
  • 1676-1933

This archival collection contains a variety of documents pertaining to the fur trade and other political events in Canada between the years 1676 and 1933. Specifically, it contains printed material regarding the formation of the colony of British Columbia and its incorporation into Canada, as well as manuscripts that describe agreements and treaties made between the governments of the United States and Britain. The archive includes a wide range of business documents, including promissory notes, warrants, and other legal documents relating to payments and goods. It also contains a selection of Voyageur Contracts and documents pertaining to the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company.

Ku Klux Klan Collection

  • HS 2330 K63 K58
  • Collection
  • 1920s to 1990s

This small research collection of printed ephemera documents some of the Ku Klux Klan’s activities to disseminate its beliefs and biases in favour of the white supremacy movement.