Mer ger of theHBC and NWCChapter 4.3Pages 147- 150
Hard times for the FurTrade… By 1820, both the HBC and the NWC were suffering financially The law suits over the Red River colony were very expensive The beaver is disappearing rapidly Profits were shrinking THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH FURS IN THE NORTHWEST TO JUSTIFY TWO FULL SCALE TRADING COMPANIES…
Fur Trade Survival Plan In 1821, the HBC and the NWC decided that the only way to survive was to merge their companies The new company called HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY It had 100 shares in the company
The NEW Hudson’s BayCo. NWC HBC Had 55 of the 100 Had 45 of the 100 shares shares With the 2 companies now united, the new HBC had comtrol of all of Rupert’s Land and the land west of the Rocky Mountains (BC) A HUGE AMOUNT OF LAND!
Shipping News… It was still cheaper to ship furs out of Hudson’s Bay The old NWC shipping route (Fort William to Montreal) was rarely used after the merger
With a merger comesdownsizing… As with most companies when they merge, the HBC reduced it’s workforce in 1821. First Nations people became even more important to the success of the Fur Trade Map makers Trappers canoe repairmen Translators Canoe paddlers Guides Meat suppliers
The HBC gets a newboss… The new HBC appointed George Simpson as the director of the company He was in charge of all HBC operations in North America He was a Scottish sugar broker He knew little about furs when he arrived in 1820, but knew how to run a trading company
George Simpson: ahands- on approach tobusiness Simpson did not sit behind a desk all day He spent much of his 40 years as director traveling around his territory He traveled to as many trading posts as he could He would arrive without warning and grill his staff if things were not up to his standard He was called the “Little Emperor” because of his small stature and high expectations
George gets tired… After 40 years in charge of the HBC, Simpson returned to England in 1829 to take a leave of absence He returned a year later, in 1830 with a new wife Frances who was 18 years old.
George’s Two Lives… As was common, George already had a First Nations wife and many Metis children in Canada. He did not want his new English wife to meet them so he shipped them off before the Simpsons arrived
Frances Simpson When she arrived, Frances announced that she would not socialize with the Metis people She socially isolated herself- a bad move in a community where people had to depend on each other
More bad news for theSimpsons… Because of Frances’ attitude, George was also isolated from the community and began to become bitter towards his workers In the spring of 1832, their infant son died and he and his wife left Red River and returned to England.
Simpson returns(again…) Again, Frances and George returned to British North America this time settling in Montreal where the social scene was more to their liking. George was knighted in 1841 for his service to the HBC He continued to travel across his “empire” until he died in 1860.
Let see if you werelistening… What did the HBC and NWC do in response to shrinking profits? What year did the two companies merge? How many shares TOTAL were there in the new company? How many NWC? How many HBC? Who was appointed as the director of the new HBC? What kind of approach did he have to managing the company? What did George have to hide when he first returned to BNA with his new wife Frances? How did Frances react to co- existing with the Metis people?