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The Laird of Fort William

The Laird of Fort William

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William McGillivray, the head of the North West Company from 1804 until 1821, was arguably the most powerful businessman in Canada in the early nineteenth century. McGillivray emigrated fro the Scottish Highlands when he was twenty years old and assumed the leadership of the North West Company in 1804 upon McTavish’s death. McGillivray guided the company through a decade of rapid expansion and great prosperity from 1805 to 1814, but it was also a time fraught with violence and damaging rivalries. 

Set against the background of history and legacy of the North West Company, this fascinating biography tells William McGillivray’s complete story, from his early years in Scotland, immigration to Canada, wilderness adventures, and fur-trading successes to the eventual downfall of the company he worked so hard to build.