Every March between 1826 and 1854, the York Factory Express began its journey from the Hudson's Bay Company's headquarters on the Pacific Ocean, where the express-men paddled their boats up the Columbia River to the base of the Rocky Mountains at Boat Encampment, a thousand miles to the east. At Jasper's House they were 3,000 feet above sea level. Their river route would return them to salt water once more, at York Factory, on the shores of Hudson Bay. It was an amazing climb and an amazing descent, and they would do a similar climb and descent on their journey home to the mouth of the Columbia. The stories of the York Factory Express, and of the Saskatchewan Brigades they joined at Edmonton House, are told in the words of the Scottish traders and clerks who wrote the journals. However, the voyageurs who made the journey possible are the invisible, unnamed Canadiens, Orkney-men, Iroquois, and their Métis children and grand-children, who powered the boats back and forthacross the continent every year. But their history was oral. If the traders had not preserved the stories the voyageurs told them, we would not know this history today - as it is portrayed in The York Factory Express.
About the author
Nancy Marguerite Anderson studied art, sailed the west coast, worked for the government, managed and owned a delicatessen and sold products for a natural-health company before discovering her love for writing and researching. As a descendent of fur traders who worked for the North West Company and the later Hudson's Bay Company, she is especially interested in discovering the stories of her heritage. Anderson has dedicated many years to writing this book about her great-grandfather, the fur trader and explorer Alexander Caulfield Anderson. She is descended from A.C. Anderson through his youngest son, Arthur Beattie Anderson, born in 1864. Anderson lives in Victoria, BC.