McKenzie, Roderick


McKenzie, Roderick
   Cousin of Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Came to Canada from Scotland in 1784, and entered the service of the fur-trading firm of Gregory, McTavish & Co., of Montreal. The following year reached Grand Portage, where employed as a clerk. Accompanied his cousin to the far West in 1786; built the original Fort Chipewyan, on the south shore of Lake Athabaska, in 1788; and in charge of the post during Alexander Mackenzie's expeditions of 1789 and 1792 to the Arctic and Pacific. In 1797, on his way to Montreal, after a long absence, rediscovered the old Kaministiquia route, first discovered by the French many years before, but afterwards abandoned. Became a partner of the North West Company, 1799; and signed the Montreal agreement of 1804 by which the X Y Company was absorbed by the North West Company. A year or two later retired from the fur trade, and began gathering material for a history of the North West Company. The work was never published, nor even completed, but many of the original journals which were to have formed its basis are included in Masson's Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest. Settled at Terrebonne, in Lower Canada, and became a member of the Legislative Council of the province.
   Index: MS Joins X Y Company, 14; friendly rivalry with McGillivray (North West Company) in English River department, 15; at Île à la Crosse, 16; brings news of death of Ross to Grand Portage, 16; joins his cousin Alexander Mackenzie in Athabaska department, 23; their friendship, 23; his Reminiscences, 24; builds Fort Chipewyan, 24; plans library there, 26; winters there, 1788-1789, 27; at Chipewyan, 53; goes down to Grand Portage, 53; sent to Great Slave Lake, 54.
   Bib.: Reminiscences in Masson, Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest; Bryce, Hudson's Bay Company; Burpee, Search for the Western Sea.

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