Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about north West Passage (2008) Vol. 5 PDF historical fur-trading company. For the modern grocery and retail company, see The North West Company. North West Company – Coat Of Arms. The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821.
Rivista annuale del Centro Studi per lo Spettacolo Nordico dell’Università degli Studi di Torino. Direttore responsabile: Paolo Bertinetti; Direzione scientifica: Roberto Alonge, Franco Perrelli.
It competed with increasing success against the Hudson’s Bay Company in what is present-day Western Canada. After the French landed in Quebec in 1608, coureurs des bois spread out and built a fur trade empire in the St. These so-called “pedlars” began to merge because competition cost them money and because of the high costs of outfitting canoes to the far west. There are historical references to a North West Company, as early as 1770, involving the Montreal-based traders Benjamin Frobisher, Isaac Todd, Alexander Henry the elder and others, but the standard histories trace the Company to a 16-share organization formed in 1779.
John Gregory, Alexander Mackenzie, and his cousin Roderick Mackenzie. The wintering partners and the Montreal agents met each July at the company’s depot at Grand Portage on Lake Superior, later moved to Fort William. Also under the auspices of the company, Alexander Mackenzie conducted two important expeditions of exploration. In the northwest, the Company expanded its operations as far north as Great Bear Lake, and westwards beyond the Rocky Mountains. For several years, they tried to sell furs directly to China, using American ships to avoid the British East India Company’s monopoly, but little profit was made there. Despite its efforts, the North West Company was at a distinct disadvantage in competing for furs with the Hudson’s Bay Company, whose charter gave it a virtual monopoly in Rupert’s Land, where the best furs were trapped.
They organized an overland expedition from Montreal to James Bay and a second expedition by sea. In September 1803, the overland party met the company’s ship at Charlton Island in what is now Nunavut Territory. His brother-in-law, Charles Chaboillez, oversaw the Lower Red River trading post. As such, his ambition and forceful positions caused disagreements between him and some of the shareholders, several of whom eventually left the North West Company during the 1790s.
Some of these dissidents formed their own company, known unofficially as the “XY Company”, allegedly because of the mark they used on their bales of furs. There was intense competition between the rivals. It had escalated to a point where the master of the North West Company post at Great Bear Lake had been shot by an XY Company employee during a quarrel. Competition with the Hudson’s Bay Company was intense, however, and profit margins were squeezed. The North West Company branch in New York City had allowed the Canadians to get around the British East India Company’s monopoly and ship furs to the Chinese market.