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Ravenscrag, built for Sir Hugh Allan in 1863, the Golden Square Mile (Wikipedia)


I have continued to research Scots in Canada. They were fur traders and became were wealthy. When beavers nearly disappeared, they became explorers. As fur traders, they founded the North West Company (1779) which competed with the Hudson’s Bay Company (established in 1670). They lived in the Montreal’s Golden Square Mile (mille carré doré) and socialized at the Beaver Club, a gentleman’s dining club, founded in 1785. Later, they moved to Westmount, Montreal. A few senior members married French-Canadian women. The French who had remained in the fur trade after the Conquest were senior members at the Beaver Club. New France had its bourgeoisie and bourgeois remained. Some were Seigneurs. Affluent French-speaking Canadian may have lived in Outremont, a lovely area of Montreal. Until recently, bourgeois French Canadians did not live in Westmount. They lived in lovely homes located in Outremont. I visited relatives in that arrondissement. Their homes were lovely, but their dining-room could not accommodate a hundred guests.

Charles Chaboillez was a wealthy fur trader, but he lost his money. His daughter married James McGill who, in his will, paid his father-in-law’s debts and provided him with an annuity.

Montreal is a gem, but the money was in the hands of Anglophones, as Mr Neilson told Alexis de Tocqueville and as Tocqueville himself knew.

The Château Clique is associated with some members of the North West Company, but seigneurs and French bourgeois also belonged to the Château Clique. Fur trading had its classes, and the wealthy are its upper class. The French had been voyageurs and Amerindians were their guides. However, one could be wealthy in New France and Canada without exploiting others. I would not make that generalization.


The Auld Alliance and Scots Guard: Scots in Canada (20 May 2021)
Alexis de Tocqueville and John Neilson: a Conversation, 27 August 1831
(13 May 2021)
Alexis de Tocqueville on Lower Canada (17 Janvier 2018)
Canadiana.1 (page)


Love to everyone 💕

Les Indes galantes de Jean-Philippe Rameau, sous la direction de William Christie
Charles Chaboillez, a French Fur Trader (Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
26 May 2021