Joseph Frobisher | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Joseph Frobisher

Joseph Frobisher, fur trader, merchant (b at Halifax, Eng 15 Apr 1740; d at Montréal 12 Sept 1810).In partnership with brothers Benjamin Frobisher and Thomas Frobisher he was one of the "pedlars from Quebec" engaged in the fur trade in western Canada after 1770.

In 1774-75 he wintered on the Churchill River in an attempt to intercept furs coming downriver to the Hudson's Bay Company. This pioneering excursion led a few years later to the penetration by Québec traders into Athabasca Lake country. In 1776 Frobisher settled in Montréal, where he became one of the great fur merchants. He was an original partner in the North West Company and in 1787 joined Simon Simon McTavish to form McTavish, Frobisher and Co, the NWC's principal outfitter and sales agent. After his retirement in 1798, he lived at his stately home, Beaver Hall.