hands- on approach to businessSimpson did not sit behind a desk all dayHe spent much of his 40 years as director traveling around his territoryHe traveled to as many trading posts as he couldHe would arrive without warning and grill his staff if things were not up to his standardHe was called the “Little Emperor” because of his small stature and high expectations
George gets tired…After 40 years in charge of the HBC, Simpson returned to England in 1829 to take a leave of absenceHe returned a year later, in 1830 with a new wife Frances who was 18 years old(she was his cousin!)
George’s Two Lives…As was common, George already had a First Nations wife and many Metis children in Canada.He did not want his new English wife to meet them so he shipped them off before the Simpsons arrived
Frances SimpsonWhen she arrived, Frances announced that she would not socialize with the Metis people She socially isolated herself- a bad move in a community where people had to depend on each other
More bad news for the Simpsons…Because of Frances’ attitude, George was also isolated from the community and began to become bitter towards his workersIn the spring of 1832, their infant son died and he and his wife left Red River and returned to England.
Simpson returns (again…)Again, Frances and George returned to British North America this time settling in Montreal where the social scene was more to their liking. This occurred after their son died in 1832.George was knighted in 1841 for his service to the HBCHe continued to travel across his “empire” until he died in 1860.
The Red River Resistance- 1870PAGES 155- 162
Lots of changes in the 1860’s…Many people immigrated to the NorthwestCanada became a dominion (a country that rules itself)The HBC’s fur trade started to declineMany Canadians moved West to find available farm land
The Orange OrderMany of the new Canadian settlers were Protestants and members of the Orange Order:◦A violently anti- French, anti- Catholic movementThey were prejudiced against the Metis (surprise!) because they were French, Catholic, and of mixed heritage…
The Orange OrderAlthough they were small in number, the presence of the Protestants increased tensions in the Red River a lot.One of the first immigrants and Orange Order members was Dr. John Schultz, he opened a general store, took over the newspaper “The NorWester”By the end of the 1860’s he had organized a small group called the Canadian Party which hoped to gain control of the settlement.Dr. John Schultz
Economic problems…Anger in the Red River between these groups continued to increase. Economic problems in the Red River contributed to rising tensions…◦Crop failures◦Decrease in bison ◦Less investment by the HBC
Land ownership issues…Added to this was the fact that:◦The Metis never made legal claim to their territory although they had farmed it for years◦According to HBC policy, all HBC employees were entitled