Memorable Manitobans: Duncan Cameron (c1764-1848)
Born at Glenmoriston, Invernessshire, Scotland, about 1764, the son of Alexander Cameron and Margaret McDonell. His parents emigrated to America when he was a child, and settled at Schenectady, New York. During the American Revolution the family moved north to Canada and settled at Williamstown, Glengarry. In 1784 Duncan Cameron entered the service of the North West Company and for many years was employed in the Nipigon department. He was elected a partner of the Company about 1800. Until 1807 he was proprietor in charge at Nipigon, from 1807 to 1811 he was stationed at Lake Winnipeg, and from 1811 to 1814 at Rainy Lake.
In 1814 he was placed in charge of the Red River department, where it fell to him to deal with the situation created by the establishment of the Selkirk colony. He was taken prisoner by the officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the attack on Fort Gibraltar in April 1816, and was sent to England, by way of Hudson Bay, for trial.
In England he was released, and obtained damages from the Hudson’s Bay Company for false imprisonment. About 1820 he returned to Canada, and settled at Williamstown, Glengarry. In 1820 he married Margaret, daughter of Captain McLeod of Hamer.They had several children, one of whom later became Sir Roderick W. Cameron of New York. In 1824, Duncan Cameron was elected to represent Glengarry in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, but was unseated.
Cameron died at Williamstown on 15 May 1848. He is commemorated by Cameron Street in Winnipeg.
Author of Nipigon Journal, Sketch of theCustoms of the Natives of the Nipigon Country, printed by L. R. Masson; Lesbourgeois de la Cie du Nord-Ouest (2 volumes, Quebec, 1890).
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Page revised: 28 July 2008
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