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Alexander Ross

Ross, Alexander, 1783–1856, Canadian fur trader and pioneer, b. Scotland. He went to Canada in 1805, taught school in Upper Canada, and in 1810 left for Oregon as a clerk in John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. In the founding (1811) of Astoria, Ross played a part. When that fur-trading post was sold (1813) to the North West Company, he entered their employ and was a member of the expedition that established (1818) Fort Nez Percé (also called Fort Walla Walla); he was in charge of this post until 1823, two years after the amalgamation (1821) of the North West Company with Hudson's Bay Company. His account of these years on the Pacific slope is related in his Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River (1849, new ed. 1923) and The Fur-Hunters of the Far West (1855, new ed. 1956). He was head of an expedition (1823–24) in the Snake River country. In 1825 Ross settled in the Red River district; in Assiniboia he was sheriff and a member of the council. His Red River Settlement was published in 1856.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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