Blenkinsop, George
b. 1822
d. 1904-06-02
George Blenkinsop was born in London and joined the HBC marine services as a steward in 1840.1 He was immediately sent to the company’s Columbia district, where he was second in command to William McNeill during the establishment of Fort Rupert.2
In April 1850, Blenkinsop found himself involved in a controversial case: he was accused of offering a reward of 50 blankets to, likely, members of the Kwaguʼł First Nation, for the capture and return of three missing sailors, dead or alive, and the sailors were subsequently killed.3 However, the HBC found no merit to these claims upon investigation of the event.4
Blenkinsop’s zeal and activity were noted by HBC Governor Eden Colvile, who promoted him to chief trader of Fort Rupert in 1855.5 However, he left to take charge of Fort Colvile in the US.6 He returned to Victoria only three years later where he spent his remaining years involved in mining and farming exploits before becoming the Indian agent of the Kwahkewith agency in 1881.7 While in office he protected native fishing rights, encouraged Indigenous employment in salmon canneries, and tried to abolish the illegal liquor trade on the coast.8
Blenkinsop was referred to as a gentleman of great intelligence by James Douglas and a courageous, good-natured, active intelligent Cornishman by Helmcken.9 Blenkinsop Lake and valley, Blenkinsop Bay, and Blenkinsop Islet were all named after him following his death in 1904.10
  • 1. Richard Mackie, Blenkinsop, George Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 2. Ibid.; Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. 32, History of British Columbia 1792-1887 (San Francisco: The History Company, 1887), 192.
  • 3. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. 32, History of British Columbia 1792-1887 (San Francisco: The History Company, 1887), 273.
  • 4. Richard Mackie, Blenkinsop, George Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
Mentions of this person in the documents
The Colonial Despatches Team. Blenkinsop, George. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/blenkinsop.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)