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Hudson Bay Company & Sinclairs
I have a wee book called "Leaving Scotland" by Mona McLeod. When discussing the
Scots who emigrated to Canada she says:
Scots had been recruiting its best agents and trappers in the Orkneys - "not
turbulent Scottish fools but sturdy, inoffensive crofters and fishermen who
needed no instruction about northern hardship". But the Company wanted agents to
deal with Indian hunters of the far north, not migrants. The Sinclairs of
Caithness, who were principal shareholders, made sure that part of the men's pay
went directly to their families in
There is no bibliography in this book, so its hard to double check this
However, it makes sense that the Sinclairs were involved in the Hudson Bay
Does anyone else have information about this connection?
Gordon Holmes wrote:
> Dear Laurel,
> I do not know if this will help, but my grandmother and many, many
> Sinclairs were the beneficiaries of land in what is now Manitoba. This
> land was offered to secure the Crowns claim and to discourage American
> interests by populating the prairies with "Tough Scots" who would stay.
> That land was taken by scottish settlers for their own reasons, chiefly
> being (according to Gran and others and supported by documents) that it
> was land and quarrels seemed useless from so far away from the British
> Isles. Going back further....As you know, many traders rambled through
> this territory , all owing their cash trade to London. Kind of a "One
> Hand Washes the Other" relationship with the English.
> I do not know how St. Clair rose so quickly through the ranks, but many
> Scots did. They were fearless fighters and in the times and place there
> was not a lot of choice but to take men and give the natural leaders
> Rank. (doubtless others will help you here) Maybe, like Jame Sinclair,
> he was a free-trader and more... :)
> P.S. Imagine my Grandmothers fury when her eldest daughter announced her
> intention to marry the man who would be my father. He had the gall to be
> born in London! Love..Cousin Gord
> Spirit One Email wrote:
> > I am assuming that this list is just of first Sinclair arrivals to USA but
> > maybe Canada is there too?
> > I am puzzled about 2 things concerning Gen. St. Clair (pronounced Sinclair)
> > How was it that he became a General so quickly? Did he have previous
> > military training or mercenary experience in Scotland?
> > In the book "A Dance Called America" I was struck by the fact that the
> > usual pattern of immigrant Scots was to join the British side many times
> > because they had been offered a commission in the English army. It seemed
> > to me that these Scots almost fresh from the defeat of Culloden would have
> > stayed enemies longer. But now as I remember, they fought first with the
> > English in the French and Indian war and were rewarded with lands in USA and
> > Canada. So they would have been a bit more sympathtic, I suppose, with
> > their benefactors at that point in history.
> > It was the Scots coming through Ireland or that had been here a few
> > generations that usually made up the patriots. I know this is a generality
> > and the world abounds with exceptions but it seems like there might be more
> > of a story about why he chose the American side.
> > Laurel
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