North West Company Competes with Hudson's Bay on the Red River

Pembina, on the Red River of the North

The North West Company has gained an advantage over the Hudson’s Bay Company for control of the fur trade on the Red River of the North. Agent Alexander Henry has completed a fort just 300 feet from the river, thus opening up trade in the area.
Henry depends mostly upon Chippewa hunters and trappers from the forest around Red Lake and Leech Lake. These people of the woods seem willing to risk attack by the Dakota and Lakota in order to get European trade goods.

From Pembina, Alexander Henry’s trappers are able to get furs from the Red River and its tributaries. There are plenty of animals in the region because it is a war zone between the Ojibwa (Chippewa) and Dakota peoples, thus it has few permanent residents.

Henry and his men have built a fort with a high stockade, a stable, a blacksmith shop and a large storehouse for furs. Several whitewashed houses provide lodging for the North West Company employees. Agent Henry expects to meet some competition from the rival Hudson’s Bay Company.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change