Discover a wealth of interesting, entertaining and informative stories in each issue, delivered to you six times per year.
One of the really lively characters in the story of the Red River Colony and the Selkirk Settlement is Cuthbert Grant. He was born in 1793. His father was a partner in the North West Company and his mother was an Aboriginal woman. And he was very much a part of the Metis society at the time. He was a clerk for the North West Company.
But during this period, when the North West were agitating that the Selkirk Settlement should in fact leave or disappear in some way, he was a young man and he got quite involved in that movement.
He led a brigade, a hunting brigade, and they were accosted in some way by some of the HBC men and a few of the Selkirk Settlers, and a fight broke out and this became known as the Battle of Seven Oaks, or in different languages, the Massacre of Seven Oaks, because it was mostly the HBC men and the Selkirk Settlers that were there that perished.
It was a real flashpoint in the development of the settlement of the Red River colony and there were repercussions because of that.
But Cuthbert Grant himself, although known as a villain by the Selkirk Settlers, eventually settled down and became quite a productive member of the Red River area, and quite a productive citizen, if you want to call him that.
He was a healer. He had a medicine chest that we have in our collection here and we have his desk in this exhibit as well. And so he settled down quite a bit and was considered a pretty decent fellow by a lot of folks living in the area.