Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Dugald Cameron (1777-1857)

Fur trader.

Probably born in Quebec in 1777, he was the younger brother of Duncan Cameron who was secretary and registrar of Upper Canada. He had an Ojibwa wife, Marie Charlotte Lesperance / Okaquajibut, and several children. Entering the service of the North West Company in 1795, he was a clerk in the Nipigon District for many years. He was known for his fluency in Ojibwa. In 1811, he was put in charge of the Lake Winnipeg area and in 1813 was made a partner of the company. Two years later, he transported most of the Selkirk colonists to Upper Canada. On the union of the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821, he was appointed Chief Factor in the Columbia District, until 1824, then moved to Rainy Lake and eventually to Fort La Cloche before his retirement in 1844, when he settled at Grafton near Cobourg, Canada West. He formally married his Ojibwa wife in 1833. Cameron was self-educated and read “almost every Book thatever came within his reach.” He died on 21 March 1857.

See also:

John Dugald Cameron, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VIII, 121-22.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Wes Darou for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 February 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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