| || Notes for Alexander Roderick McLeod:|
FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA
Alexander Roderick McLeod, (c. 1782 - June 11, 1840), was a fur trader and explorer who began his career with the North West Company in 1802.
McLeod became a chief trader with the Hudson's Bay Company after they joined with the NWC ub 1721.He was highly active in solidifying the HBC role in the Pacific Northwest and was instrumental in George Back's Arctic Expedition.
McLeod was a maverick in the eyes of the HBC but was an important employee who served the company in a variety of settings.He was passed over for a position as a chief factor, something he expected and felt he had earned.A son-in-las who has married his daughter, Sarah, John Ballenden did achieve this position with the company.
The source for the following two paragraphs is this website:HISTORY BY MCCLOUD HERITAGE JUNCTION MUSEUM; MCCLOUD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ; HISTORY OF MCCLOUD; WWW.MCCLOUDCHAMBER.COM/HISTORY.HTML
In 1829, a party of Hudson Bay Company trappers and explorers, led by Peter SKeene Ogden and Alexander Roderick McLeod, were the first white men to travel through the valley where the town of McCloud now stands.In the years that followed a few hardy folks homesteaded in the beautiful Squaw Valley including Joaquin Miller, later known as the Poet of the Sierras.
In 1892, A.F. Friday George built the first mill located in what is now McCloud, but it failed because of the difficulty of hauling the lumber over the hill by oxen.In 1897, the town of McCloud was finally established by George W. Scott and William VanArsdale, founders of the McCloud River Railroad Company.The railroad made it economically feasible to transport the lumber to more populated areas.The two men also purchased many of the small failed mills including the old Friday George mill and named it the McCloud River Lumber Company.Thus began the lumber company town of McCloud.
In 1997 at the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the town of McCloud, Deane Russell Brown was the Grand Marshall and McLeod descendent in their parade.
Alexander Roderick McLeod, fur trader and explorer; born about 1782 in the province of Quebec; died June 11, 1840 in Lower Canada.
In 1802, Alexander joined the Northwest Company as a trader.When the Northwest Company merged with Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, he became Chief Trader.
Alexander Roderick McLeod joined the North West Company in 1802, and served on the Peace River (Alta/British Columbia) and in the Athabasca country; his journal for the summer of 1806 was written at Fort Dunvegan.Historian James Nevin Wallace has described him as a powervully built man who played a "secondary role" in the rivalry with the Hudson's Bay Company.At the coalition of the two companies in 1821, McLeod was appointed a chief trader in the HBC's Athabasca district, and entered a new and controversial phase in his fur-trading career.As early as the 1822/23 season, he was criticized for his "preposterous and galling use of authority" in the MacKenzie River district, and his posting south to the Columbia district in 1825 was the prelude to a series of dramatic incidents in the Oregon country, where rival British and American traders had equal rights.
While Peter Skene Ogden was opening up the Snake River country in the interior for the HBC, McLeod was entrusted with a series of flanking expeditions south from Fort Vancouver (Vancouver, Washington), along the Oregon coast.In this way Chief Factor John McLoughlin hoped to scour the region for furs and to discover whether the river, called the Buenaventura, rumoured to flow from the Rocky Mountains into the Pacific, somewhere between the Columbia River and San Francisco Bay, existed.Given the difficulties of the drainage system of the Snake country and the Great Basin, such a river, if navigable, would have been of considerable commercial value.It did not exist but hopes were pinned for a time on the Sacramento River.McLeod, who was later described by Governor George Simpson as an overbearing figure who was nevertheless an "excellent shot, skilful Canoe Man and a tolerably good Indian Trader," was not quite the man for this search.After reaching the Columbia in the fall of 1825, he set out in May 1826 with his own brigade on a summer trapping expedition towards the Umpqua River (Oregon).It was characteristic of much that was to come that he turned back short of his destination, though he picked up fromthe Indians reports of a "great river" south of the Umpqua.In September 1826 he left Fort Vancouver with instructions from McLoughlin "to hunt and explore" in that area.He travelled past the Umpqua to the Tootenez (Rogue) River, but found it unimpressive and partly blocked at its mouth by a sand-bar.He arrived back at Fort Vancouver in March 1827.
In 1827/28 McLeod wintered on the Umpqua, finding few furs, and in the summer of 1828 he commanded a punitive expedition against the Klallam Indians of Hood Canal (Washington), who had killed five HBC men.The death of more than 20 Indians was to call down on McLeod severe censure from the company's London committee, but to McLoughlin the expedition had been "most judiciously conducted."On his return McLeod was given a more ambitious task.
Hopes of finding a large navigable river to the south persisted, and new information about the region had reached Fort Vancouver after the killing of the party of American trader Jedediah Strong Smith in July 1828.McLeod was dispatched two months later to retrieve Smith's goods and, using the trader's map of the trail from San Francisco Bay, to head the HBC's penetration into Mexican California.The first part of the task was skilfully accomplished without bloodshed, but McLeod then left his men on the Umpqua, contrary to orders, while he returned to Fort Vancouver "for instructions" and, some said, for Christmas and to see his family.Sent back to his brigade in January, he continued south and, fighting off Indians, reached the Sacramento valley in April; but as he moved back north, away from the area of Mexican influence, his party was caught by winter in the mountains of northern California.McLeod lost his horses, cached his furs (which were to be ruined by melting snow), and, leaving his men on the Umpqua, arrived at Fort Vancouver in February 1830.
His conduct was widely regarded as incompetent and irresponsible; some, including his friend John Stuart and, perhaps more surprisingly, George Simpson, found reasons for his behaviour in his broken health.McLeod himself wrote of the difficulties of crossing rugged terrain and dealing with unenthusiastic men.But in March the London committee, castigating him as "extremely deficient in energy and zeal," denied him the chief factorship he expected, and had him posted to the MacKenzie district the following year.His "Southern" expeditions, though they never produced large returns of fur, did serve significantly in maintaining the HBC's presence in the Oregon country.
The eventful years of McLeod's career were over.As he journeyed from Fort Simpson (N.W.T.) in 1833 to the Canadas to recover his health, he received a letter from George Simpson, who believed McLeod "would have made an excellent Guide," promising him his support for a chief factorship if he agreed to serve on George Back's Arctic expedition.This he did, faithfully, until 1835, accompanied by his Indian wife and three children.Although, by arrangement, he did not accompany them back down the Great Fish (Back) River to the Arctic Ocean; he hunted, fished, and established camps for the party.His reward came when he was made a chief factor in 1836.His last years in the northwest were spent at Great Slave Lake (1835-37) and Fort Dunvegan (1837-39).
McLeod died in June 1840 while on furlough.He left in his will "some small property" and about L5,000 to the mixed-blood woman he had married according to the custom of the country in his NWC days, and to their seven surviving children, including Sarah and Alexander Roderick Jr., who had participated in James Dickson's short-Lived army of liberation.McLeod considered their mother to be his "legitimate wife" (contrary to the attitude of many fur traders in country marriages) and in 1841 the Doctors' Commons in England declared their marriage legally valid.
These notes were written by Glyndwr Williams
SOURCE:Hudson's Bay Company Archives; Provincial Archives of Manitoba; Winipeg, Manitoba
McLeod joined the North West Company in 1802, soon becoming a clerk on Peace River in the northwest.In 1821 he became a chief trader when the Hudson's Bay Company absorbed the North West Company, serving in the Athabasca and MacKenzie River Countries; in 1823 he was transferred to the Columbia district.He trapped in south Oregon, led brigades in that region on subsequent years, then was transferred, in 1827, to the Fraser River briefly.He soon was back at Fort Vancouver.He led a punitive campaign against Puget Sound Indians, because of his "harshness" being turned down for promotion.McLeod led the party which buried Jedediah Smith's massacred men in southern Oregon, being criticized for "dilatory" leadership of that expedition.McLeod let the first HBC brigade to trap central California in 1829-1830.His trip was a failure and McLoughlin sharply criticized him.McLeod was transferred to the MacKenzie River area, where he ended his service.