John McLoughlinDr. John McLoughlin was born October 19, 1784 in Quebec. Though baptized Catholic on November 5, he was raised Anglican. In 1798, he began to study medicine with Dr. Sir James Fisher of Quebec. After studying for 4 1/2 years he applied for his license with it being granted on April 30, 1803.
In 1816 McLoughlin was arrested for the murder of Robert Semple, the governor of the Red River colony, though it is claimed he stood in proxy for some Indians who were blamed. He was tried on October 30, 1818, with the charges being dismissed. McLoughlin helped negotiate the merger between the Northwest Fur Company and the Hudson's Bay Company.
In 1824 McLoughlin was appointed Chief Factor of the Columbia District. Peter Skein Ogden was appointed to assist him. McLoughlin concluded upon his arrival that Fort Astoria was unfit for a headquarters. He built a new fort at Bell Vue Pt. and named it Fort Vancouver. Ft. Vancouver was blessed by being at the confluence of three rivers; the Columbia, the Willamette, and the Cowlitz. The post was opened for business on March 19, 1825.
In 1841, with the arrival of the first wagon train, McLoughlin disobeyed company orders and extended aid to the American settlers, preventing an inevitable armed attack on his outpost. The settlers understood that his motives were not purely altruistic, and resented him and worked against him for the rest of his life. The Hudson's Bay Company eventually realized that the increasing numbers of American settlers would result in Ft. Vancouver being on US Territory, and ordered McLoughlin to move everything to Vancouver Island. This new fort was named Adelaide, which became the modern city of Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.
After retiring from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1846, McLoughlin moved his family to Oregon City. He immediately got his US Citizenship. He served as mayor of Oregon City in 1851, winning 44 of 66 votes. In 1847, McLoughlin was given the Knighthood of St. Gregory, bestowed on him by Pope Gregory. He died of natural causes on September 3, 1857.