File 2 - Agreement

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Title and statement of responsibility area

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the file.

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG 1247-2

Edition area

Edition statement

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records.

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Administrative history

The North West Company was a fur-trading organization formed over the course of the first decades following the British conquest of Canada. It was not a chartered company like the Hudson's Bay Company, but a syndicate of a number of individual fur-trading firms. Later, however, it came to be dominated by the Montréal partnership of McTavish, Frobisher and Co. (later McTavish, McGillivrays and Co.). Although there are references to a North West Company as early as 1776, the first documented union of interests was a 16-share concern formed in 1779. However, a new agreement drafted in 1783 is commonly considered to have inaugurated the Company. The expansion of the North West Company's trade was rapid: in the person of Alexander Mackenzie, it reached to the Arctic Ocean in 1789 and to the Pacific in 1793. After 1812, the Company faced intense competition from the Earl of Selkirk, who had acquired a controlling interest in the Hudson's Bay Company. Although the North West Company defeated Selkirk in the courts, its financial position had deteriorated by 1820, and in 1821 it was absorbed by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Custodial history

Scope and content

File contains a 6 year business agreement including Todd McGill and Co. and Forsyth Richardson and Co. as partners in the North West Co. in 1792.

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