Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, September 1817 to September 1822

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Author: Edwin Ernest "E E" Rich (1904-1979) editor

Year: 1839

Publisher: Champlain Society

Place: Toronto


cxxxi+372+[xiii list of member] pages with frontispiece, appendix, and index. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 7") bound in original publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Head end pages in gilt. Hudson Bay Record Society Volume II. Limited to 550 copies. First edition.

Colin Robertson (1783-1842) was an early Canadian fur trader and political figure. In 1803, he had joined the North West Company, leaving it in 1809. Robertson then travelled to England, where he became a merchant at Liverpool. In 1814, he returned to Canada in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company, leading an expedition reestablish the company in the area around Lake Athabasca. Robertson stopped in Manitoba to rebuild Fort Douglas, which had been burnt down by the North West Company. In the meantime, John Clarke continued on to the Athabaska region with the remainder of the expedition but was eventually taken prisoner by the North West Company. Unable to come to an agreement with Robert Semple, the new governor of Assiniboia, Robertson travelled to York Factory, Manitoba, intending to return to England. After stopping in Montreal to clear his name of charges brought forward by the North West Company, he led a new expedition west. He was taken prisoner by Samuel Black of the North West Company but escaped, fled to the United States and returned to England. In the meantime, Lord Selkirk, who had been guaranteeing Robertson's business debts, had died and Robertson was forced to flee to France. He later returned to Lower Canada. In 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company were united and Robertson became a chief factor in the new company. Now that the two companies were no longer competing, however, men of action were valued less by the company than persons with administrative skills. After falling out of favor with the company's governor, George Simpson, he planned to retire but suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1832. He eventually retired in 1840 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Two Mountains in the following year.


Uncut, corners bumped, lightly soiled else very good.

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