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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Grant Dallas (1816-1882)

Colonial governor.

Like James Douglas of British Columbia, Dallas was born in Berbice, Guyana. He went from there to Scotland with his family, spent some time in China, and in 1857 was sent by the Hudson's Bay Company to investigate the Company’s Western Department. Present during the Fraser River gold rush, Dallas fought with Douglas over land policy and was named by the HBC to succeed Douglas when he was appointed to the governorship of British Columbia on condition that he sever his ties with the Company. Douglas refused to give up his place with the HBC and had to be forced to transfer authority. In 1861 Dallas was appointed successor to Sir George Simpson, and he arrived in Upper Fort Garry in May 1862. During his term as president of Council and governor-in-chief of Rupert’s Land, he warned the Company of the need for better local government. He retired in 1864 to Scotland. He was the author of San Juan, Alaska, and the North-West Country (1873).

More information:

“Successor to Simpson,” by B. A. McKelvie, The Beaver (Sept. 1951): 41-45.

Alexander Grant Dallas, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XI, 230-31.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 25 February 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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