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Memorable Manitobans: Pierre de Rastel De Rocheblave (1773-1840)

Fur trader.

He was born in Kaskaskia (now Illinois). His father had fought with the French colonial troops in the Seven Years War and emerged as British commandant at Kaskaskia in 1778, when he was taken prisoner by the Americans. Pierre was a founder of the New North West Company (or XY Company) in 1798, and he survived the merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1804 to head the Red River Department until 1807, when he was posted to the Athabasca region. He became a captain in the Corps of Canadian Voyageurs organized by the North West Company in 1812, receiving a militia commission for the “Indian and conquered countries” in 1814. He was at Fort William when it was seized by Lord Selkirk in 1816, and he helped William McGillivray recapture it in 1817. A year later he helped transport the first Catholic priests to Western Canada. Upon the merger of the NWC and HBC, he drew up the NWC inventory. He later became active as a seigneur and went into politics in Lower Canada. His papers were destroyed in a fire in 1860.

More information:

Pierre de Rastel De Rocheblave, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VII, 735-39.


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

Page revised: 20 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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