Bannatyne, Andrew Graham Ballenden

Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne, businessman, politician (b on South Ronaldsay, Orkney Is 31 Oct 1829; d at St Paul, Minn 18 May 1889). Bannatyne was one of Red River's most prominent businessmen, whose concern for the future led him, in 1869-70, to support Louis Riel and the hope for a multiracial society. He entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company at 14, but left it in 1851 to set up as a free trader with his father-in-law, Andrew McDermot. By the late 1860s, Bannatyne and his new partner, Alexander Begg, were the largest retail and wholesale merchants in Red River.

When Riel began his resistance in 1869, Bannatyne supported the demand for a negotiated entry into Canada and tried with some success to act as a liaison between whites and mixed bloods. There were some stormy scenes with the erratic Riel, but Bannatyne brought stability as a member of the provisional government. In 1873-74, he abetted Riel's elections to the House of Commons and, after Riel was declared an outlaw and his seat of Provencher vacated, Bannatyne was elected by acclamation in 1875.

Bannatyne had little interest in federal politics and did not seek re-election. During the 1870s, he sold his business and turned to land speculation, at which he prospered; but his fortunes were shattered when the western land boom collapsed in 1882.