Fort Douglas (Canada)

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Fort Douglas
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Red River summer view 1822.jpg
Red River summer view in 1822 with Fort Douglas in the background by Peter Rindisbacher
TypeFort
Site information
Controlled by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, Hudson's Bay Company
Site history
Built1813-1815
In use1814-1826
Battles/wars Pemmican War
Battle of Seven Oaks
Official nameForts Rouge, Garry, and Gibraltar National Historic Site of Canada
Designated1924

Fort Douglas was the Selkirk Settlement (Red River Colony) fort and the first fort associated with the Hudson's Bay Company near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in today's city of Winnipeg. Named for Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, founder of the Selkirk Settlement, the fort was built by Scottish and Irish settlers beginning in 1813. Completed in 1815, it was in the immediate vicinity (down river) of the North West Company establishment, Fort Gibraltar. [1]

After the Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816, during the conflict between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, the fort was captured by the Métis and employees of the North West Company. [2] The fort was soon retaken by Selkirk's men and there was a short period of relative peace. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk lived at the fort during his visit to the Selkirk Settlement (Red River Colony) in the summer of 1817. It was later used as a trading post and was the residence of the Governor of Assiniboia. Following the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and the North West Company (NWC) in 1821, the HBC's operations were relocated to the NWC's Fort Gibraltar, renamed Fort Garry. Fort Douglas remained the residence of the Governor of Assiniboia until it was mostly destroyed in the great Red River flood of 1826. [3] A second flood in 1852 swept away remnants.

Today the site of Fort Douglas is located on Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg, in Fort Douglas Park. As the heart of the Selkirk Settlement and the first significant structure in what is today Winnipeg's historic Exchange District, the site of the fort is the most important historical site in the district. [3] The eminent Canadian historian Professor Chester Martin of the University of Manitoba, in 1924 described the site of Fort Douglas as "perhaps the most historic site in the prairie provinces."

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Fort Garry

Fort Garry, also known as Upper Fort Garry, was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on or near the site of the North West Company's Fort Gibraltar established by John Wills in 1810 and destroyed by Governor Semple's men in 1816 during the Pemmican War. Fort Garry was named after Nicholas Garry, deputy governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. It served as the centre of fur trade within the Red River Colony. In 1826, a severe flood destroyed the fort. It was rebuilt in 1835 by the HBC and named Upper Fort Garry to differentiate it from "the Lower Fort," or Lower Fort Garry, 32 km downriver, which was established in 1831. Throughout the mid-to-late 19th century, Upper Fort Garry played a minor role in the actual trading of furs, but was central to the administration of the HBC and the surrounding settlement. The Council of Assiniboia, the administrative and judicial body of the Red River Colony mainly run by Hudson's Bay Company officials, met at Upper Fort Garry.

Red River Colony British colony located in present-day Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada (1811-70)

The Red River Colony was a colonization project set up in 1811 by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, on 300,000 square kilometres (120,000 sq mi) of land. This land was granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company, which is referred to as the Selkirk Concession, which included the portions of Rupert's Land, or the watershed of Hudson Bay, bounded on the north by the line of 52° N latitude roughly from the Assiniboine River east to Lake Winnipegosis. It then formed a line of 52° 30′ N latitude from Lake Winnipegosis to Lake Winnipeg, and by the Winnipeg River, Lake of the Woods and Rainy River.

Cuthbert Grant Métis leader

Cuthbert James Grant was a prominent Métis leader of the early 19th century. His father was also called Cuthbert Grant.

Battle of Seven Oaks 1816 battle of the Pemmican War

The Battle of Seven Oaks was a violent confrontation in the Pemmican War between the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and the North West Company (NWC), rivals in the fur trade, that took place on 19 June 1816, the climax of a long dispute in western Canada. The Métis people fought for the North West Company, and they called it "the Victory of Frog Plain".

Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk Scottish Earl

Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk FRS FRSE was a Scottish peer. He was noteworthy as a Scottish philanthropist who sponsored immigrant settlements in Canada at the Red River Colony.

Pemmican Proclamation

In January 1814 Governor Miles MacDonell, appointed by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk issued to the inhabitants of the Red River area a proclamation which became known as the Pemmican Proclamation. The proclamation was issued in attempt to stop the Métis people from exporting pemmican out of the Red River district. Cuthbert Grant, leader of the Métis, disregarded MacDonell's proclamation and continued the exportation of pemmican to the North West Company. The proclamation overall, became one of many areas of conflict between the Métis and the Red River settlers. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk had sought interest in the Red River District, with the help of the Hudson's Bay Company as early as 1807. However, it was not until 1810 that the Hudson's Bay Company asked Lord Selkirk for his plans on settling in the interior of Canada.

Assiniboia District refers to two historical districts of Canada's Northwest Territories. The name is taken from the Assiniboine First Nation.

Andrew McDermot was a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) employee who became a prominent independent fur trade merchant and member of the Council of Assiniboia.

Robert Semple was Governor of the territories owned by the Hudson's Bay Company from autumn 1815 until his death.

Miles MacDonell was the first governor of the Red River Colony, a 19th-century Scottish settlement located in present-day Manitoba and North Dakota.

Fort Gibraltar

Fort Gibraltar was founded in 1809 by Alexander Macdonell of Greenfield of the North West Company in present-day Manitoba, Canada. It was located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in or near the area now known as The Forks in the city of Winnipeg. Fort Gibraltar was renamed Fort Garry after the merger of North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, and became Upper Fort Garry in 1835.

Fort Espérance was a North West Company trading post near Rocanville, Saskatchewan from 1787 until 1819. It was moved three times and was called Fort John from 1814 to 1816. There was a competing XY Company post from 1801 to 1805 and a Hudson's Bay post nearby from 1813 to 1816. It was on the Qu'Appelle River about 20 km from that river's junction with the Assiniboine River and about 7 km west of the Manitoba border. It was on the prairie in buffalo country and was mainly used as a source of pemmican which was sent down the river to Fort Bas de la Rivière at the mouth of the Winnipeg River.

Fort Carlton Historic trading outpost near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

Fort Carlton was a Hudson's Bay Company fur trade post from 1795 until 1885. It was located along the North Saskatchewan River not far from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. It was rebuilt by the Saskatchewan government as a feature of a provincial historic park and can be visited today. It is about 65 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

Selkirk Concession 1812 land grant issued by the Hudsons Bay Company

The Selkirk Concession was a land grant issued by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) to Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, in 1812. The Hudson's Bay Company held a commercial monopoly in Rupert's Land, consisting of the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin. The Selkirk Concession, also known as Selkirk's Grant, included a large section of the southwest area of Rupert's Land, bounded: on the north by the line of 52° N latitude roughly from the Assiniboine River east to Lake Winnipegosis, then by the line of 52° 30′ N latitude from Lake Winnipegosis to Lake Winnipeg; on the east by the Winnipeg River, Lake of the Woods and Rainy River; on the west roughly by the current boundary between modern Saskatchewan and Manitoba; and on the south by the rise of land marking the extent of the Hudson Bay watershed. This covered portions of present-day southern Manitoba, northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, in addition to small parts of eastern Saskatchewan, northwestern Ontario and northeastern South Dakota.

History of Winnipeg

The history of Winnipeg comprises its initial population by Aboriginal peoples through its settlement by Europeans to the present day. The first forts were built on the future site of Winnipeg in the 1700s, followed by the Selkirk Settlement in 1812. Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873 and experienced dramatic growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the end of World War I, the city's importance as a commercial centre in Western Canada began to wane. Winnipeg and its suburbs experienced significant population growth after 1945, and the current City of Winnipeg was created by the unicity amalgamation in 1972.

John Peter Pruden Pioneer of western Canada, fur trader, and writer.

John Peter Pruden was an early pioneer of western Canada which at the time was known as Rupert's Land. During his many years of employment as a fur-trader with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), he had extensive interactions with such First Nations as the Cree and Blackfoot. He was known to have spoken Cree fluently, a fact which was confirmed by HBC administrator Sir George Simpson in his famous but "sometimes erratic" 1832 Character Book.

Archives of Manitoba Provincial and HBC archives of Manitoba

Archives of Manitoba, formerly the Provincial Archives of Manitoba until 2003, is the official government archive of the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is located at 200 Vaughan Street in Winnipeg, where it has operated from since January 1971.

Bas de la Rivière

Bas de la Rivière is a geographical area on both sides of the Winnipeg River at and near the mouth where it empties into Lake Winnipeg. It had a storied historical period in the opening of the west and the subsequent fur trade and settlement.

Fur trading on the Assiniboine River and the general area west of Lake Winnipeg began as early as 1731.

Pemmican War Conflict between the Hudsons Bay Company and North West Company from 1812 to 1821

The Pemmican War was a series of armed confrontations during the North American fur trade between the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and the North West Company (NWC) in the years following the establishment of the Red River Colony in 1812 by Lord Selkirk. It ended in 1821 when the NWC merged with the HBC.

References

  1. Macdonald, Miles. "Dictionary of Canadian Biography" . Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  2. Semple, Robert. "Dictionary of Canadian Biography" . Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  3. 1 2 "Historic Sites of Manitoba: William Whyte Park / Fort Douglas Cairn (Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg)". The Manitoba Historical Society. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

Letter from Chester Martin, Department of History, University of Manitoba, to Judge F.W. Howay, 16 April 1924. Library and Archives Canada, RG84, Series A-2-a, Vol. 1389, File HS10-10, Reel T-14155.

Coordinates: 49°54′15″N97°07′55″W / 49.90403°N 97.13193°W / 49.90403; -97.13193