North West Company
The North West Company was founded in 1779 as a major force in the fur trade from the 1780s to 1821.1 It originally confined its operations to the Lake Superior Region and the valleys of the Red, Assiniboine, and Saskatchewan rivers. However during its growth it expanded as far as Oregon Country where it constructed posts in what is now Washington and Idaho.2
The company was managed primarily by Highland Scots who immigrated to Montreal after 1760, its original business leaders included Simon McTavish, Isaac Tod, and James McGill.3 Competition with the Hudson's Bay Company increased in 1811-12 when the HBC set up a post on the Red River, in the NWC's area of operation. Conflict soon broke out between the two companies when the NWC destroyed the Red River colony. The HBC retaliated by destroying the NWC's post at Fort Gibraltar (located in modern Winnipeg).4
There were many attempts by the NWC to end the HBC monopoly in what is now Canada, such as blocking the plans for HBC expansion by buying up HBC stock in London. However all these attempts failed. The North West Company also attempted to expand and develop its company and its trade with China through a liaison with the East India Company. This too proved unfruitful.5
Due to the pressure of the British government and by a parliamentary act, the North West Company merged with the HBC in 1821 and took on the latter company's name.6
Mentions of this organization in the documents