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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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James Farquharson McLeod

McLEOD, James Farquharson, Canadian official, born in 1836. He is the son of a British army officer, was educated at Upper Canada college, and at Queen's university, Kingston, and graduated there in 1854. He subsequently studied law and became a barrister in 1860. He entered the militia in 1856, and became major and brevet lieutenant-colonel in 1867. He served during the first Riel rebellion in the Northwest in 1870, was mentioned in despatches by Sir Garnet (now Lord) Wolseley in command of the expeditionary force, and was created a companion of the order of St. Michael and St. George by the Queen for his services. He was appointed a captain in the Northwest mounted police in 1873, assistant commissioner in 1874, and stipendiary magistrate for the Northwest territory, commissioner in command of the force, and a member of the Northwest council, 7 October, 1876. In 1880 he was appointed stipendiary magistrate, with jurisdiction over all cases, criminal and civil, in the Northwest territory.

--BEGIN-John McLeod

McLEOD, John, Canadian explorer and trader, born in Stornoway, Scotland, in 1788; died in Montreal, 24 July, 1849. He was a successful merchant in his native town, when, in 1811, he was engaged by the Hudson bay company to muster men in the Hebrides for service in their struggle with the Canadian fur companies. In effecting this Mr. McLeod was opposed by the agents of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, representing the Northwest company. On 25 September, 1811, Mr. McLeod was specially detailed by the Hudson bay company to assist the 1st brigade of Highlanders that was brought out by Earl Selkirk in their journey from York factory to the Red river settlement. During 1812-'16 he built and established all the first trading-posts of the Hudson bay company in that region and 500 miles westward. At the same time he successfully opposed the Northwest company under the most disadvantageous circumstances and was the means of saving the Red river colony from annihilation. From 1816 till 1821, when the Hudson bay and Northwest companies were united, Mr. McLeod led the struggle against the rival company in the far north toward the arctic circle and westward to the Rocky mountains. He effected with his associates an expansion of trade in furs and other natural resources of the Pacific slope from Yukon to San Francisco, and with the Sandwich islands and Alaska. At the coalition of the two companies, Mr. McLeod was the first member of the original Hudson bay company that crossed the Rocky mountains formally to accept the delivery of the country west of that range from the agents of the Northwest company. He was the first man that was known to have crossed the continent from Hudson bay to the Pacific coast. From 1826 till 1830 he had charge of Norway house, which he built, and which was the rendezvous of all important trade-brigades from the interior. Here the chief council for the government of the trade met annually until a few years ago, when the place of meeting was transferred to Winnipeg. In the autumn of 1830 he sailed from York factory, by way of Hudson bay, to London, visited Scotland, and on his return in 1831 was appointed to the charge of the Chicoulimi district. Two years afterward he was appointed to the St. Maurice district, extending from Hudson bay to the St. Lawrence. In 1849, while taking his annual report to Montreal, he was attacked by cholera and died the same day. He did more than any other man to open up the northwest for settlement, and was loved and respected equally among the Indians and his white associates. Hubert H. Bancroft, in his history of British Columbia, refers to him as the "veteran" among the fur-traders and pioneers of the northwest.--His son, Malcolm, born in Green Lake, Beaver River, Northwest territories, 21 October, 1821, was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, studied law in Montreal, and was admitted to the bar in 1845. Ever since that time he has been in active practice, with the exception of the years 1873-'6, when he was district judge for the counties of Ottawa and Pontiac. In 1887 he was appointed Queen's counsel. In the parliament of Canada and in the press his name has been associated with the subjects of the annexation of the Northwest to Canada and the construction of a railway over British territory to the Pacific ocean. In the session of 1862 he presented a memorial describing the condition of the people of the Red river settlement, who had in vain petitioned the imperial authorities for government of some kind, owing to the inefficiency of the Hudson bay company. The memorial failed, as the government of that day was opposed to the western extension of Canada. Mr. McLeod then addressed himself to the colonial secretary, the Duke of Newcastle, on the subject. A few days after receiving the papers the duke delivered a speech in the house of lords, declaring against the Hudson bay company, and the announcement was then for the first time made that the charter would be withdrawn and the administration of the country resumed by the imperial government. A marked change followed on the part of the company, and had it not occurred just then its territories would in all probability have fallen into the hands of a syndicate of American fur-traders, he was the first really to point out the possibility of a transcontinental railway, and in 1869 defined a feasible route for it from Montreal to the Pacific. He also presented three routes, giving estimates of distances and heights. When, under the terms of union with British Columbia, an exploration was set on foot by the Canadian government, Sandford Fleming, the chief engineer, put himself in communication with Mr. McLeod, who rendered valuable; assistance in connection with the preliminary survey for the Canadian Pacific railway. He has published "The Peace River," from his father's journal and his own observations while living in the Rocky mountains (Ottawa, 1872); five pamphlets on the " Pacific Railway," under the pen-name of " Britannicus " (1874-'80) ; and "Problem of Canada " (1880).

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