This Blessed Wilderness: Archibald McDonald's Letters from the Columbia, 1822-44 by Jean M. ColeThis Blessed Wilderness: Archibald McDonald's Letters from the Columbia, 1822-44 by Jean M. Cole

This Blessed Wilderness: Archibald McDonald's Letters from the Columbia, 1822-44

byJean M. Cole

Hardcover | February 10, 2001

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The twenty-five years between 1821 and 1846 were turbulent butimportant years in the history of the fur trade in the PacificNorthwest: 1821 saw the merger of the Hudson’s Bay Company andthe North West Company, and 1846 saw the signing of the Oregon Treaty,which established the Canada-U.S. border.

Archibald McDonald was a man who experienced these changes firsthand. As a senior HBC officer, he was sent to the Columbia Districtheadquarters at Fort George in 1821 to oversee the recently absorbedNWC posts and assets. After the merger, McDonald went on to directoperations at Thompson River (1826-28), Fort Langley (1828-33), andFort Colvile (1833-44).

During his tenure in the Pacific Northwest, letters wereMcDonald’s only link with the outside world. Collected here forthe first time by Jean Murray Cole, these public and private letters tofriends, business colleagues, missionaries, botanists, and many othersprovide a fascinating narrative of the expansion of the fur trade at acritical time in its history. McDonald’s witty and ironic stylemake these informative letters highly readable and entertaining. Theyare an invaluable primary resource for historians of the fur trade andthe Pacific Northwest, anthropologists, geographers, and specialists innative studies. More general readers will be fascinated by theseamusing snapshots of early settlement in the Pacific Northwest.

Jean Murray Cole is an independent writer, researcher, and historian based in Indian River, Ontario. She is the author of many regional histories and of Exile in the Wilderness: The Biography of Chief Factor Archibald McDonald 1790-1853 (University of Washington Press 1979).
Title:This Blessed Wilderness: Archibald McDonald's Letters from the Columbia, 1822-44Format:HardcoverDimensions:308 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 1.02 inPublished:February 10, 2001Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774808322

ISBN - 13:9780774808323

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Table of Contents



Part 1: Fort George and Thompson River, 1822-28

Part 2: Fort Langley, 1829-33

Part 3: Fort Colvile, 1834-44

Part 4: Envoi, 1845-49




Editorial Reviews

This book will be a “must-read” for those interested in the Pacific fur trade during this period, but the letters are interesting in themselves, and the background and explanatory notes provided by the editor give this book a much wider appeal. - Morag MacLachlan - B.C. History, Spring 2005