I am James McDonald, the company clerk for the Northwest Company Fur Trading Post. I was born in 1769 on the Isles of Skye, where my clan Donald and good friends MacLeods ruled for ages. My father fought with Great Britain in the Great American Revolution and never came back. That is when my mother said I had to do better. I started at the school of Edinburgh in 1784. At fifteen years old I was studying accounting, foreign taxes, shipping weights, chemistry, and much more studious subjects.
I had the opportunity to go to the States in 1788 and work with Great Britain like father did. But my job, better money and very exciting as asst. clerk in 1788. I helped measuring blankets, marking up prices, making ink, cutting quills, and learning from Aiden Macleod my Highland friend what a clerk does. He sent me with voyageurs up the river with my own attendant. voyageurs are strong, working 18 hours a day.
When I became clerk in 1798 of the NWCo. Fur Post my trips became more strenuous. I remember when I got thrown in the river for not giving rum to voyageurs when they climbed the tallest pine tree and carved my initials. It’s the little things that crotchety old fool of a friend didn’t tell me. I figured them out, and knocked him in the tooth, the old Aiden MacLeod.
The Fur Trade’s booming… lots of beaver coming in and out through the summer months and in the winter. I barter with Indians to keep fresh meat and fruits on the table. They saved my butt more than a couple times. I really love their sewing and colorful garments they bring me. Anyways, being the clerk here, I have a lot of stories and a lot of history to show you and teach you. And no! I will not leave out any detail, so that you too can prosper, whether it’d be on the river, in the wilderness, or home at camp. I James McDonald will be lighting the way.