Grant, Richard
b. 1794-01-20
d. 1862-06-21
Richard Grant was born on 20 January 1794 in Montreal, Canada to William Grant, a fur trader in Trois-Rivières. Richard Grant was the Chief Hudson’s Bay Company trader at Fort Hall, but prior to his position as chief, Grant served as a Clerk and Trader at other HBC posts such as: York Factory, Oxford House, Fort Edmonton, Fort Assiniboine, and Lesser Slave Lake.1 Before joining the fur trade, at the age of 18 or 19, Grant was a member of the 2nd Battalion of Select Embodied Militia during the War of 1812 in which he fought on the side of the British and the Mohawk tribe against the invading Americans.2
In 1816, Grant entered the Northwest Company as a clerk where he was assigned to the post at Rocky Mountain House, it is possible that Grant’s interest in fur trading was established by his father’s and grandfather’s link to the industry.3 From 1822 to 1823, Grant served at Fort Edmonton under Chief Factor John Rowand, in his time here he married Rowand’s step-daughter -- Marie Anne Breland -- whose mother, Louise Umphreville, was an important Métis woman.4 From 1823 to 1837, Grant moved from various forts working in positions such as Clerk and Chief trader, it was not until 1841 that Grant moved from British North America to current day Idaho where he was appointed as Chief Trader at Fort Hall, he remained here until 1851.5
In 1847, Grant wanted to expand the trade at Fort Hall and decided that opening up trade with the Mormon community was a good step forward; however, his journey to Fort Vancouver for authorization was not fulfilled. His endeavor was refused due to the Fort Vancouver Board Members’ perception that Mormons were unreliable and untrustworthy.6 Grant’s goal was never to be realized, not only due to the HBC’s overall refusal, but also because the Mormons had successfully developed their own community store without the need for trade with larger Forts, by 1853 Grant was given a full retirement.7 It is said that his retirement was due to his ill health, although some scholars argue that it was more likely due to his failed trading endeavours.8
After his retirement, Grant and his second wife Helene Kitson lived for a time in Cantonment Loring, just north of Fort Hall. But the couple soon moved to Hell Gate Ronde in Walla Walla County, it was here that Grant died on 21 June 1862.9 Grant, also referred to as “Captain Grant”, is remembered as a gentleman and remarked to be very clever and obliging in his position as Chief Trader at Fort Hall.10
Mentions of this person in the documents
Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Fort Assiniboine

Fort Edmonton

Fort Hall

Fort Vancouver

Walla Walla

The Colonial Despatches Team. Grant, Richard. 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/grant_r.html.

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