Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


John Clarke


Clarke, John (1781-1852), fur-trader, was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1781, the son of Simon Clarke and Ann Waldorf. He entered the service of the North West Company as a clerk in 1800 and served successively on the Mackenzie river and on the Peace river. In 1810 he left the North West Company, and joined the Pacific Fur Company of John Jacob Astor, who appears to have been a relative of his mother. In 1811 he commanded the second expedition to Fort Astoria, and he was present in 1812 when the fort was surrendered to the Nor'-Westers. On his return to Canada in 1814 he took service with Lord Selkirk; and during the years 1815-19 he was the leader in the opposition which the Hudson's Bay Company offered the Nor'-Westers along the Peace river. At the time of the union of the two companies, in 1821, he was made a chief factor. He retired from the fur-trade in 1830; and he spent the rest of his days in Montreal. There he died in 1852. He was twice married, first, to a half-breed named Sapphira Spence, who died shortly afterwards; and second, in 1821, to Marian Tranclar, of Neufchâtel, Switzerland, by whom he had four sons and four daughters. See Adèle Clarke, Old Montreal: John Clarke, his adventures, friends, and family (Montreal, 1906), which should, however, be used with caution.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 77.



© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College