From: "A History of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street,
By Rev. Robert Campbell, Montreal 1887
"Soon after the entire valley of the St. Lawrence came under British sway, by the capitulation of Montreal, the merchants of this city, among whom were many Scotchmen, as we shall see, resolved to unite in organizing a company for prosecuting the fur trade. An association with this end in view was formed in 1784, and took the name of "The North-west Company of Montreal".
Among others who engaged in the fur trade of the North-West Company were retired officers and privates of the Scottish Regiments that had been concerned in the taking of Quebec and Montreal.
Some of them were highland gentlemen of high degrees. It is not easy to realize it, but nevertheless a fact that few of those who were present at the organization of the first Presbyterian Congregation, in a room on Notre Dame street, on the 12th of March, 1786, had, as youths, been actually engaged in the fight at Culloden, in 1746; and several of them were the children or descendants of those brave men who stood by the side of Prince Charlie on that fated field."
"When the North-West Company
was organized, several of the retired officers of the 42nd
and 78th Regiments joined it. This service
suited the adventurous spirit of the Gael, not less than the army or navy;
and not a few of those to whom no military career at home offered, resolved
to try their fortunes in this new sphere of activity which opened up to
them. These were the men, for the most part, whose spiritual interests
were sought to be promoted by the organization of a Presbyterian
"All these were gentlemen of means in 1792. Now-a-days  they would not be counted wealthy. Half a million is to-day of less account in Montreal, probably, than one-tenth of that sum a century ago. For the most part, they had made their money in the fur trade, or at least added that branch of business to their ordinary transactions.
But the fifteen
succeeding subscribers were the "Gentlemen of the Northwest", by way
of eminence, at this time. They were the men who, as employees of the North-west
Company, were pushing the fur trade far across the continent, even to the
Rocky Mountains and the shores of the Arctic Sea. A braver or more enterprising
group of men there probably was not then alive, and their names deserve
to be recalled with admiration and gratitude."
From: "Documents Relating to the North West Company"
No braver or more picturesque band of adventurers ever put it to the touch, to gain or lose it all. Some of them were French-Canadian traders and voyageurs, the sons of those who had followed La Vérendrye to the rivers and prairies of the west in the dying days of the French régime. Others were American frontiersmen who had served their apprenticeship in the valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi.
Most of them were Scottish Highlanders, the sons of those who had come to Canada in Wolfe's army or as United Empire Loyalists in the American Revolution. . . . The numerous Frasers, McTavishes and McGillivrays, who played such an important part in the history of the North West Company, nearly all came from Lord Lovat's estates. The names of the North West Company partners sound like a roll call of the clans at Culloden.
These men were hardy, courageous,
shrewd and proud. They spent a good part of their lives travelling incredible
distances in birch-bark canoes, shooting rapids, or navigating inland seas.
They were wrecked and drowned. They suffered hunger and starvation. They
were robbed and murdered by the Indians, and sometimes by one another.
They fell the victims of smallpox, syphilis, and rum. Yet they conquered
half a continent, and they built up a commercial empire, the like of which
North America at least has never seen. . . .
When thinking of fur traders and explorers
we tend to associate them as Western Canadians, but many may not realize
how many of these traders made Montreal their home at one time or another.
Those associated with Montreal are:
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