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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Lifeline of the Oregon Country

The Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47

In The Lifeline of the Oregon Country, James Gibson compellingly immerses the reader in one of the most intractable problems faced by the Hudson’s Bay Company: how to realize wealth from such a remote and formidable land. The personalities, places, obstacles, and operations involved in the brigade system are all described in fascinating detail, stretch by stretch from Fort St. James, the depot of New Caledonia on the upper reaches of the Fraser River, to Fort Vancouver, the Columbia Department’s entrepôt on the lower Columbia River, and back. Never before has such a rich collection of primary information concerning the fur trade supply system and the constraining role of logistics been so meticulously assembled. The Lifeline of the Oregon Country will prove indispensable to historians, researchers, and fur trade enthusiasts alike, and is an important contribution to our understanding of the economic history of the Pacific Slope.

304 pages


Table of Contents

Prologue

Part 1: Introduction

1 Opening the Oregon Country

2 Linking the Oregon Country

3 Reforming the Oregon Country

Part 2: The Outgoing Brigade

4 Canoeing down the Fraser: From Stuart’s Lake to Alexandria

5 Packhorsing over the Mountain: From Alexandria to Thompson’s River

6 Packhorsing between the Fraser and the Columbia: From Thompson’s River to Okanagan

7 Boating down the Columbia: The Easy Leg from Okanagan to Walla Walla

8 Boating down the Columbia: The Hard Leg from Walla Walla to the Sea

Part 3: The Incoming Brigade

9 At the Sea: The “Grand Depot” and “General Rendezvous”

10 Boating up the Columbia: The Hard Leg from the Sea to Walla Walla

11 Boating up the Columbia: The Easy Leg from Walla Walla to Okanagan

12 Packhorsing between the Columbia and the Fraser: From Okanagan to Thompson’s River

13 Packhorsing over the Mountain: From Thompson’s River to Alexandria

14 Canoeing up the Fraser: From Alexandria to Stuart’s Lake

Epilogue

Appendixes

1 Chief Factor William Connolly’s Journal of the Brigade from New Caledonia to Fort Vancouver and Return, May 5-September 23, 1826

2 Chief Factor Peter Warren Dease’s Journal of the Brigade from New Caledonia to Fort Vancouver and Return, May 7-September 13, 1831

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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