Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ROSS, Alexander, author, born in Nairnshire, Scotland, 9 May, 1783; died in Colony Gardens (now in Winnipeg, Manitoba), Red river settlement, British North America, 23 October, 1856. He came to Canada in 1805, taught in Glengarry, U. C., and in 1810 joined John Jacob Astor's expedition to Oregon. Until 1824 he was a fur-trader and in the service of the Hudson bay company. About 1825 he removed to the Red river settlement and was a member of the council of Assineboia, and was sheriff of the Red river settlement for several years, tie was for fifteen years a resident in the territories of the Hudson bay company, and has given the result of his observations in the works "Adventures of the First Settlers oil the Oregon or Columbia River ; being a Narrative of the Expedition fitting out by John Jacob Astor to establish the Pacific Fur Company, with an Account of some Indian Tribes on the Coast of the Pacific" (London, 1849): "The Fur-Hunters of the Far West, a Narrative of Adventures in the Oregon and Rocky Mountains" (2 vols., 1855) ; and "The Red River Settlement, its Rise, Progress, and Present State" (1856).--His son, James, born in Red river settlement, Manitoba. 9 May, 1835: died in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 20 September, 1871, was educated at St. John's college, Red river, and at Toronto university, where he was graduated with honors in 1857. In 1858 he taught as assistant classical master in Upper Canada college, Toronto. In 1859, returning home, he was appointed postmaster, sheriff, and governor of the jail at Red river, was connected as part proprietor and editor with the "Nor'-Wester" in 1860-'4, subsequently as associate editor of the Hamilton "Spectator," and was also a writer on the Toronto "Globe." He was afterward admitted to the bar of Manitoba, in 1870 was appointed chief justice of the provisional government under Louis Riel, and is said to have drawn up the petition of right. He was opposed to Riel's violent and arbitrary acts.
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