Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk

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Observations on the present state of the Highlands of Scotland, with a view of the causes and probable consequences of emigration. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme. 1805.
  • Sketch of the British Fur Trade in North America (1816)
  • See also

    • James Douglas (governor) (1803–1877), a high-ranking Hudson's Bay Company officer and later governor of Vancouver Island

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    The Red River Colony, also known as Assiniboia, 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 in British North America. This land was granted to Douglas by the Hudson's Bay Company in the Selkirk Concession. It included 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.

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    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".

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Pemmican Proclamation</span>

    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.

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    Fort Douglas was the Selkirk Settlement 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 of the North West Company establishment, Fort Gibraltar.

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    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.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Selkirk Concession</span> 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.

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    <span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Manitoba</span>

    The history of Manitoba covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. When European fur traders first travelled to the area present-day Manitoba, they developed trade networks with several First Nations. European fur traders in the area during the late-17th century, with the French under Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye set up several trading post forts. In 1670, Britain declared sovereignty over the watershed of Hudson's Bay, known as Rupert's Land; with the Hudson's Bay Company granted a commercial monopoly over the territory.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Dunbar Douglas, 6th Earl of Selkirk</span> Scottish peer

    Dunbar James Douglas, 6th Earl of Selkirk FRS was a Scottish peer.

    Alexander Macdonell of Greenfield was a Canadian businessman and politician. He was the fourth son of Alexander Macdonell of Greenfield and Janet Macdonell of Aberchalder. He was also the cousin and brother-in-law of Miles MacDonell, the first governor of the Red River Colony.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Archibald McDonald</span> Scottish-Canadian fur trader (1790–1853)

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    Dunbar Hamilton Douglas, 4th Earl of Selkirk FRSE was a Scottish peer.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Pemmican War</span> 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.

    Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun was a French Canadian militia officer and later a fur trader in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. Pambrun fought against the United States in the War of 1812, in particular the Battle of the Châteauguay. He joined the HBC during a time of turmoil with its competitors, the North West Company. After the Battle of Seven Oaks, he was among those held captive by men employed by the NWC.

    William Bachelor Coltman was a politician, active in the early 19th century. He was born in Great Britain, and traveled to Canada in 1799. He worked as a merchant in Quebec City, and purchased a schooner, and entered into a partnership with his brother John, and two merchants in Yorkshire, in 1807. In 1808 he acquired a contract to supply flour to the Army, in Canada.

    Pierre St. Germain was a Métis interpreter and fur trader, notable for his service in John Franklin's Coppermine expedition. Born c. 1790, possibly to a family of North West Company (NWC) interpreters, he was first employed with the NWC in 1812, before transferring to the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). He served for several years as an interpreter in Athabasca Country before employment as a guide for the Franklin expedition. The expedition, plagued by supply shortages due to conflicts between the NWC and HBC, was devastated by starvation on the return journey from the Arctic coast, leading to the deaths of the majority of the participants. After twenty years of service in the fur trade, he settled in the Red River Colony at what is now Winnipeg. Ten years later, he and his family participated in James Sinclair's settler expedition to the Columbia District, part of a HBC plan to bolster the nascent Puget Sound Agricultural Company. He remained in the Cowlitz Prairie with his family for the rest of his life, dying at some point in the 1870s.


    1. Douglas, Thomas (1984). Bumsted, J. M. (ed.). The Collected Writings of Lord Selkirk 1799–1809; Volume I in the Writings and Papers of Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk (PDF). Winnipeg: Manitoba Record Society. p. 7. ISBN   0-96921011-6.
    2. Annals: North British Society
    3. Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN   0-902-198-84-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
    4. Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Douglas, Thomas (1771–1820)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 15. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
    5. Carter, George E. (Winter 1968). "Lord Selkirk and the Red River Colony". Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Vol. 18, no. 1. pp. 60–69. JSTOR   4517222.
    6. Francis, R. Douglas; Jones, Richard; Smith, Donald B. (2000). Origins: Canadian History to Confederation (4th ed.). Toronto: Harcourt Canada. pp. 434–5. ISBN   978-0-17644-243-9.
    7. Grant, Cuthbert National Historic Person . Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada . Retrieved 9 January 2015.
    8. Woodcock, George (1985). "Grant, Cuthbert". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography . Vol. VIII (1851–1860) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
    9. Bryce, George (1912). Life of Lord Selkirk. Toronto: The Musson Book Company. p.  81.
    10. Henderson, Anne Matheson (1968). "The Lord Selkirk Settlement at Red River, Part 2". Manitoba Pageant. 13 (2). Manitoba Historical Society.
    11. Chartrand, Larry (2004). The Definition of Métis Peoples in Section 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. University of Ottawa – Common Law Section. SSRN   2323669.
    12. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk. Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques. 1958.
    13. Newman, Peter C. (2000). The Empire of the Bay: The Company of Adventurers that Seized a Continent. Penguin. p. 383. ISBN   978-0-14029-987-8.

    Further reading

    The Earl of Selkirk
    Thomas Douglas 5th Earl of Selkirk.jpg
    Lord Lieutenant of Kirkcudbright
    In office
    Honorary titles
    Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Kirkcudbright
    Succeeded by
    Peerage of Scotland
    Preceded by Douglas hamiltonCoA.png
    Earl of Selkirk

    Succeeded by