|Dr John McLoughlin
John McLoughlin was one of the most influential figures of the fur trade and
settlement periods of Pacific Northwest history. Chief Factor of the Columbia District of
the British Hudson's Bay Company, he reigned as a benevolent autocrat, befriended
Americans, and eventually became an American citizen at Oregon City.
He was born in Quebec in 1784 and trained as a physician near Montreal. He
became a physician and traveled to the Northwest region in 1824 as a representative
of the Hudson Bay Company. Here he occupied the position of Chief Factor from 1825,
when the regional headquarters of the company was moved from old Fort Astoria to
Fort Vancouver, until his retirement in 1845.
During his reign as Chief Factor, Dr. John McLoughlin directed the operations of
the fur trade in all the country west of the Rocky Mountains and north of the California
line, as well as the more localized activities of agriculture, livestock raising, sawmilling,