William McIntosh

William McIntosh, fur trader (b at Grand Rapids, US 1784; d 16 Feb 1842). By 1816 a wintering partner in the North West Company, he had previously been positioned at Lesser Slave Lake (1803) in the Peace River country (1805) and at Fort Vermilion (1815).

McIntosh, William

William McIntosh, fur trader (b at Grand Rapids, US 1784; d 16 Feb 1842). By 1816 a wintering partner in the North West Company, he had previously been positioned at Lesser Slave Lake (1803) in the Peace River country (1805) and at Fort Vermilion (1815). He was arrested at Grand Rapids in 1819 along with several other senior Nor'Westers by the governor in chief of the Hudson's Bay Company. McIntosh pretended illness, feigned suicide and escaped to Fort William. In the 2 preceding years he had completely disrupted HBC attempts to capture the Athabasca country, driving one of their officers to near starvation.

After the 1821 union of the NWC and HBC he served as chief trader and after 1823 as chief factor, variously at Nelson House (1825-29), Cumberland House (1829-32) and Dunvegan (1832-34). He retired in 1837 after 2 furloughs. Although McIntosh served the HBC for 16 years, his prominence in the wars between the 2 fur-trade giants may have engendered the hatred of Sir George Simpson, the governor of the HBC. In his private "Character Book," Simpson described McIntosh as "A revengeful cold blooded black hearted Man whom I consider capable of anything that is bad: possessing no abilities beyond such as qualify him to cheat an unfortunate Indian and to be guilty of a mean dirty trick: Suspicious, Cruel & Tyrannical without honour or integrity."