Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James McMillan (1783-1858)

Fur trader.

Born in Scotland around 1783, he entered the service of the North West Company before 1804, spending most of his time on the Columbia River. When the Companies amalgamated he was appointed Chief Trader then, in 1827, he was promoted to Chief Factor. In 1830 he was appointed by Governor Simpson to establish an experimental farm at Red River. The site was on the Assiniboine. Houses were built, barns and stables erected and stock purchased. Crops of flax and hemp were planted, but the whole experiment was a failure and after six years was sold off. McMillan left the farm in 1834.

He was married and had three children. A number of his country-born children settled in Red River.

McMillan retired from the Company in 1839, to Scotland, where he died in 1858.

See also:

James McMillan, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VIII, 583-84.


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.

Page revised: 31 October 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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