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Memorable Manitobans: John Peter Pruden (1778-1868)

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J. P. Pruden
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Fur trader.

He was born at Edmonton, Middlesex, England about 1778. He had two wives, the first Nancy, a native woman by whom he had several sons and daughters, the second, Anne Armstrong, governess to a Mr. Macallum, whom he married on 4 December 1839 at Red River Settlement.

He entered the Hudson’s Bay Company service as an apprentice in 1791, and sailed in the Company vessel Sea Horse to York Factory, where he was stationed until 1795. From then until 1808 he served on the Saskatchewan River at various posts. He spent the winter of 1808-1809 in Britain. He returned to take charge of Carlton House in 1809-1810, where he remained for four years as inland master in the Saskatchewan River District. After the union of the HBC and the North West Company he was appointed Chief Trader. He was in charge of Norway House from 1825 until his retirement in 1837, having been promoted to the rank of Chief Factor in 1833.

After his retirement from the Hudson’s Bay Company he resided in the Red River Settlement. He was appointed to the Council of Assiniboia taking the oath of office and attending his first session on 3 July 1843. He was made a member of the Board of Works on 19 June 1844, subsequently being appointed chairman on 28 June 1847. In the Red River census of 1843 he is recorded as having considerable property, namely 25 acres.

Pruden died at Red River on 30 May 1868.

See also:

John Peter Pruden, Dictionary of Canadian Biography IX, 648-49.

Sources:

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 August 2013

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