Ross, Alexander

Alexander Ross, fur trader, author (b in Morayshire, Scot 9 May 1783; d at Red River [Man] 23 Oct 1856). Immigrating to Canada as an adult, he taught school for a few years. In 1810 he joined the Pacific Fur Co as a clerk serving variously at Ft Astoria, Ft Okanagan, Ft George and Ft Nez Percés for the North West Company and then the Hudson's Bay Company. He retired to Red River in 1825 where he became sheriff of Assiniboia, commander of the volunteer Corps, captain of the police, magistrate, commissioner and court examiner. He wrote several fur-trade classics: Adventures on the Columbia River (1849), The Fur Hunters of the Far West (1855) and The Red River Settlement (1856). He was married to an Okanagan Indian "princess," and several of their children played important roles in Manitoba's history. In his last book, Ross saw Red River as a civilized island in a barbarous wilderness, but despaired as to its future and that of its mixed-blood inhabitants.