Duncan McDougall

d.c. 1817

McDougall, Duncan, fur trader (d.c. 1817). His date and place of birth are not ascertained, but when McDougall conferred with Astor and others in 1810 at Montreal, he had been employed by the North West Company "for some years." He became a partner in Astor's northwest coast fur trading enterprise. He reached the mouth of the Columbia River aboard the Tonquin in 1811 and was a principal founder of Astoria. He befriended the North West Company's great explorer, David Thomson, out of Astor's stores, Thompson returning east possibly with the understanding that the British firm should acquire the Astor interests. This was done in 1813. McDougall's part in the affair, "equivocal enough," is not clear in all aspects, but his connivance seems obvious; McDougall remained in charge at Astoria, renamed Fort George, under the new management. His relationships with Alexander Henry, who succeeded him, were not entirely amicable. When Henry perished in 1814, Donald MacKenzie and George Keith took over, McDougall apparently was discredited, and returned to Fort William on Lake Superior in 1817. He came to a "miserable death" at Bas de la Riviere, the date not established.


Alexander Ross, Adventures on the Oregon, Ed. by Milo Quaife. Chicago, Lakeside Press, 1923.