Note: According to descendant Alison Milnes, who cites the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, John was a cousin of David Stuart, the fur trader and explorer (shown below), however the on-line version of the DCB does not mention David Stuart. It is possible that Milnes was citing a printed version of the Dictionary. Milnes' claim is supported by an on-line history of the Nor'Westers and the Astorians (Third Millennium) which says: "David Stuart was a cousin of John Stuart, who was in charge of the company's posts in northern New Caledonia. David's nephew, Robert, was relatively a newcomer to the trade." John is also recorded in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and in McDonald's biography of Lord Strathcona as uncle to Lord Strathcona (shown above). John immigrated to Canada before 1796 where he began working as a fur trader and explorer with The North West Company (chief rival to The Hudson Bay Company). His brother, Robert, was also a fur trader with the NWC. John and his brother Robert were the first of this family confirmed to have emigrated. John later enticed his cousin David to join him. David in turn later enticed his own nephew Robert to join them. All four Stuarts worked initially for The North West Company. John was clerk to Simon Fraser and accompanied Fraser on his explorations into British Columbia, including his trip down the Fraser River Canyon. (It is possible that John Stuart and Simon Fraser were cousins as both had mothers named Grant from Inverness.) John Stuart was instrumental in establishing a number of western Canadian fur trading posts including founding Kamloops, British Columbia. He was also instrumental in disrupting competition from John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, where, ironically, his two Stuart cousins (David and Robert) were senior partners. John Stuart became a full partner in the NWC in 1813 and in 1821 he assisted with the NWC merger with The Hudson Bay Company, where Stuart become the first Chief Factor for the newly amalgamated Hudson Bay Company. Stuart also enticed his nephew Donald Alexander Smith to come to Canada, where Smith also became Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company as well as many other accomplishments (see above). Stuart Lake and Stuart River in British Columbia, Canada are both named after John Stuart. John Stuart returned to Scotland in 1836 and died 14 JAN 1847 at Springfield House, near Forres, Elgin, Scotland. He is found in the 1841 Census residing in Springfield, Forres, Moray, Scotland as an "independent" with two servants and no family. It is believed that his children remained in Canada.
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