McLoughlin, John

 John McLoughlin, fur trader, physician, merchant (b near Rivière-du-Loup, Qué 19 Oct 1784; d at Oregon City, Ore 3 Sept 1857). He studied medicine but in 1803 joined the NORTH WEST CO, becoming a partner in 1814. Greatly worried by the rivalry between the NWC and the HUDSON'S BAY CO, he attempted to bring about a settlement. When a coalition between the 2 took place, under other auspices, in 1821 he became a chief factor in the HBC.

Governor George SIMPSON, concerned about the Columbia District, put McLoughlin in charge when he visited it in 1824-25, and McLoughlin was its superintendent for 2 decades. In later years differences arose between McLoughlin and Simpson over how to defeat American trading ships on the coast and how to deal with American immigrants to Oregon.

McLoughlin favoured a chain of forts along the coast; Simpson favoured the use of ships. Simpson wanted the immigrants treated ruthlessly; McLoughlin, the man on the spot and a humanitarian, dealt with them kindly, realizing that an eventual American takeover of the area was inevitable. The 2 finally parted company over the murder of McLoughlin's son at Fort Stikine in 1842. After a prolonged dispute, McLoughlin retired in 1846 and lived the rest of his life at Oregon City. His holdings included flour and sawmills and he engaged in an export trade in lumber and other commodities. He has long been known as "the Father of Oregon."