McDonald, Ranald
b. 1824-02-03
d. 1894-08-24
In 1862, Douglas accepted Mcdonald's proposal to build a road from the North Bentinck Arm near the Bella Coola River to a point on the Fraser River near Quesnel, with the condition of being allowed to levy a toll on goods and cattle.1 Mcdonald was allowed to charge for the weight of goods and number of cattle using the road for an initial term of 5 years.2 Douglas made several such agreements that created the infrastructure to access the Cariboo gold rush.3
Mcdonald was the first person to teach English in Japan from 1848 to 1849. He did this while comfortably confined, the consequence of appearing as a shipwrecked sailor to gain access to Japan, a country closed to foreigners until 1853.4 Following his time in Japan, Mcdonald travelled much of Asia, Australia, and Europe before spending five years in Eastern Canada. After moving to the colony of British Columbia with his half-brother, Mcdonald established a packing business and road company, and, following the failure of both, he participated in several exploration expeditions and assisted his cousin, Christina, in a Kamloops-based trading company in 1875.1 He retired to a cabin near Fort Colvile in 1875, and his account of his time in Japan was published posthumously in 1923.6
Mcdonald was the son of Scottish HBC trader, Archibald Mcdonald, and Princess Raven of the Chinook Tribe, who died shortly after his birth.7 Ranald never married or fathered any children.8
  • 1. Douglas to Newcastle, 15 April 1862, 5571, CO 60/13, 149.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Wallace, David H. Macdonald, Ranald, Biographic Dicitonary of Canada.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
Mentions of this person in the documents