Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John le Borgne McDonald (1770-1828)

Fur trader.

Born in Scotland, his family came to Glengarry in 1786. He joined the XY Company in 1798, and was soon stationed in Red River. He joined the North West Company when the companies merged in 1804, remaining in the region, at Fort Dauphin (1808-10) and at Swan River (1810-13). In August 1816 he was arrested by Lord Selkirk at Fort William and charged as an accessory to the murder of Robert Semple and others. Brought by Selkirk’s agents to Montreal, he was eventually tried in Upper Canada and acquitted. He became a chief factor in the Hudson's Bay Company upon the merger, and was put in charge of the Upper Red River District. He retired to Upper Canada in 1827 because of ill health and died soon after.

More information:

John McDonald, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VI, 435-36.


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

Page revised: 10 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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