Fonds MSG 1036 - Roderick McKenzie Fonds

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Roderick McKenzie Fonds

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11 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Roderick McKenzie, a cousin of Sir Alexander McKenzie, came to Canada from Scotland in 1784 and entered the service of the Montréal fur-trading firm of Gregory, McTavish and Co. He accompanied his cousin to the West in 1786, built the original Fort Chipewyan in 1788, and was in charge of the post during Alexander McKenzie's expeditions to the Arctic in 1789 and to the Pacific in 1792. In 1800 McKenzie became a partner in the North West Company. A year or two later he retired from active fur trading, but he continued to be a dormant partner in the firm of McTavish, Frobisher and Co. (later McTavish, McGillivrays and Co.) until its failure in 1825. In his later years he gathered material for a history of the North West Co., which he never completed. He served on the Legislative Council of Lower Canada from 1817 to 1838.

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Approximately half this material consists of letters, covering the years 1823-1837, from Andrew William Cochran, 1792-1849, civil secretary to the governors of Lower Canada from 1812 onwards, and a member of the Executive Council from 1827 to 1841. The remainder comprises a number of accounts of travels and exploration by North West Company employees, probably collected by McKenzie for his history. Included are Charles McKenzie's expeditions amongst the Otoe Missouria Tribe.; Edward Umfreville's journal of a canoe trip from Lake Superior to Portage de l'Isle 1784; accounts of the Alaskan Athabaskans, 1795 and 1805, George Keith's memoirs of the McKenzie River Department, 1807-1817; and George Henry Monk's of the Department of Fond du Lac or Mississippi, 1807; John McDonnell's account of the Red River, ca 1787; and John Johnston's of Lake Superior and a letter on the Indigenous communities of the northwest from Eneas McDonnell. Also included are letters written to McKenzie from Forks on the Mackenzie River by William Ferdinand Wentzel, 1807-1824.

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CH21.S57, CH23.S59, CH27.S63, CH175.S175, CH171.S153

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Finding updated for outdated language. Legacy finding aid also available upon request.

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