The HBC Brigades

A lively recounting of the tough men and heroic but overworked packhorses who broke open B.C. to the big business of the 19th-century fur trade.

Facing a gruelling thousand-mile trail, the brigades of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) pushed onward over mountains and through ferocious river crossings to reach the isolated fur-trading posts. But it wasn’t just the landscape the brigades faced, as First Nations people struggled with the desire to resist, or assist, the fur company’s attempts to build their brigade trails over the Aboriginal trails that led between Indigenous communities, which surrounded the trading posts. Nancy Marguerite Anderson reveals how the devastating Cayuse War of 1847 forced the HBC men over a newly-explored overland trail to Fort Langley. The journey was a disaster-in-waiting.


Nancy Marguerite Anderson

Nancy Marguerite Anderson fell into the stories of the pre-gold rush history of the territory west of the Rocky Mountains when she researched her great-grandfather’s writings. Her first book, The Pathfinder, told the story of Alexander Caulfield Anderson’s life in the Hudson’s Bay Company and of his experiences in the early colonial history of British Columbia. Many of these stories are told on Nancy’s blog. She makes her home in Victoria. Visit her at


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280 Pages
9in * 6in * 0in


May 22, 2024


Ronsdale Press



Book Subjects:

HISTORY / Canada / Pre-Confederation (to 1867)



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