The Red River Metis The first big group of people to move to Oregon Territory. Sinclair went on an expedition to the Oregon Territory. As a governor, Simpson sent a letter to Red River's chief factor Duncan Finlayson in November 1839. Finlayson told Simpson to start looking for "steady, respectable half-breed and other settlers" to move to the Columbia River.
The offer of land, the use of common pastureland, an increase in livestock, and the costs of building farm buildings were what made them want to move.
The plan was to have these people work on HBC farms and dairies at different places. They had already set up a subsidiary company, the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, in the spring of 1821. This was for this reason. Finlayson agreed to let James Sinclair and 21 Metis families leave Red River and move to the Oregon Territory with the hope that this would keep land north of the Columbia River in British and Hudson's Bay Company hands. There were 23 men, 22 women, and 75 children in all.
On June 3, 1841, they left Fort Garry and went to a new place. From White Horse Plains in Manitoba, they went 1,700 miles to Fort Vancouver and then to Fort Nisqually. Their route took them through what are now called Whiteman Pass and Sinclair Pass. They went to Lake Windermere and Canal Flats. Jemmy Jock Bird was their guide for the part of the journey that went through Blackfoot territory.
This is how it worked: They reached Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River in October 1841, after a 130-day journey, when they finally arrived. This is a list of promises that were never kept. It was because of this that they voted to join the United States instead of the HBC's plan to keep the territory British.
In the first stage of their round-the-world trip, HBC Governor George Simpson was on the road. They set off 28 days before him. He and his group reached Fort Ellice on June 22. 5 Speedy Simpson passed the 23 Red River families near the Turtle River on July 19, his 16th day out of Red River. It was two days after they had left Fort Carlton, in what is now western Saskatchewan.
Simpson said that they were good people "They were mostly farmers and other people who lived in the Red River settlement. Some of them were very young, and they had come into this world while the group was on its way. Besides being held up for a few hours, these interesting events had never slowed down the brigade. Both mother and child used to jog on, as if jogging on was the only way to live. They had at least two or three carts, as well as a group of horses, cows and dogs. They rode in the saddle, while the vehicles, which had awnings to protect them from the sun and rain, carried the women and young children. As they walked in single file, the length of their cavalcade went over a mile in length. All of the emigrants were healthy and happy, living in the most abundance, and having the best time on their journey."
Sinclair's emigrants were led by a Cree Indian, Mackipitoon or "Crooked Arm," after their Métis guide left them. When they left their camp, they went upstream on the Bow River, crossed White Man Pass, descended the Cross River, and then climbed Sinclair Creek across the narrow Stanford Range to descend Sinclair Canyon, which is now named for their leader.
In October, they passed by Lake Pend d'Oreille and reached Fort Walla Walla, which was on the Columbia River. That night, the fort caught fire, but "these emigrants helped move the stock and effects and by their opportune presence, most of the property was saved."
They kept going to Fort Vancouver, which is near the mouth of the Columbia River. They arrived there on October 12, 1841, and they kept going.
He led them north from Fort Vancouver to the Puget Sound in November of 1841. Some of the settlers moved to what is now Washington State and the fertile valley of the Willamette River, which is a tributary of the Columbia River. Within a few months, some of them moved to what is now Washington State. When summer came, all but five of the group had moved to the Willamette valley.
Between 1821 and 1845, the Metis were the largest group that moved to the Oregon area in the records. After that, they played a big role in voting for the territory to become part of the United States.