Monday, August 1, 2016

Great-uncle Joseph a NWC Voyageur who Travelled with Alexander Mackenzie

Joseph Vielle dit Cossé -- 5th great-uncle -- was a voyageur in the employ of Alexander Mackenzie when they travelled to Grand Portage in 1797, however Joseph's contract was for a 3 year period, so he obviously went further West.  Perhaps Joseph was with explorer David Thompson, who in 1797, was sent south by the North West Company (NWC) to survey part of the Canada-US boundary along the water routes from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods to satisfy unresolved questions of territory arising from the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States.

Joseph Vielle dit Cossé contract: (1797, Feb 14 - Engaged as a voyageur to go to Nord Ouest [North West], Nipigon and Lac Superieur for traders McTavish, Frobisher and Company aka North West Company, Company Representative: Alexander Mackenzie)

Joseph's younger brother Michel was also employed by the NWC

Michel Vielle dit Cossé (1793, Mar 19 - Engaged as a voyageur to go to dans le Nord-Ouest du Canada (far north west) for traders McTavish, Frobisher and Company aka North West Company)

The contracts for both brothers state they are Bowmen (Avant) the man located in the front (or bow) of the canoe who acted as the guide.

Joseph and Michel Vielle dit Cossé are brothers and the sons of Michel Vielle dit Cossé (1724 - 1805) our 5th great-grandfather and Marie Elisabeth Marier (1740 - 1785) our 5th great-grandmother.  Their sister Marie-Louise Vielle (1780 - 1813) was my 4th great-grandmother who married Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1770 - 1807) my 4th great-grandfather.  He was also a voyageur who travelled to Michigan in 1797, for a trading company owned by brothers Jacques and Francois Laselle).

Our lineage from the Vielle dit Cossé brothers:

Joseph Vielle dit Cossé (1767 - ) -- 5th great-uncle AND Michel Vielle dit Cossé (1771 - 1810) -- 5th great-uncle

Michel Vielle dit Cossé (1724 - 1805) -- father of Michel Vielle dit Cossé

Marie-Louise Vielle (1780 - 1813) -- daughter of Michel Vielle dit Cossé

Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (1803 - 1877) -- son of Marie-Louise Vielle

Lucy Passino (1836 - 1917) -- daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau)

Abraham Lincoln Brown (1864 - 1948) -- son of Lucy Passino

Lydia Corinna Brown (1891 - 1971) -- daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown -- Grandmother

Sir Alexander Mackenzie was a Scottish explorer

Mackenzie is best known for his overland crossing of what is now Canada to reach the Pacific Ocean in 1793.  As a major partner in the North West Company, he was based in Montréal from 1794 to 1799, but travelled to Grand Portage, New York, and Philadelphia on company business.

In 1799, Alexander Mackenzie severed ties with the company (owing in part to conflict with Simon McTavish) and sailed for England. The next year he joined a rival company, the XY Company or New North West Company (which quickly became known as Alexander Mackenzie and Company). In 1801, Mackenzie published his Voyages from Montreal to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans (1801), which garnered him considerable public and literary attention.

In fact, Mackenzie’s book, Voyages from Montreal to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans (1801), would inspire and guide other explorers. Several editions were published, including a pirated French version and two German editions. United States President Thomas Jefferson presented an American edition of Mackenzie’s book to Meriwether Lewis, who would carry it to the Pacific on his famed expedition with William Clark in 1804–6.

The firm of McTavish, Frobisher and Company, founded in November 1787, effectively controlled eleven of the North West Company’s twenty outstanding shares.

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