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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Kenneth Mackenzie.

ALEXANDER and ISABELLA MACKENZIE, the parents of Kenneth MacKenzie, resided in Rossshire, Scotland, where their son, the subject of this memoir, was born, April 15, 1797. He enjoyed good educational advantages in his early youth, being for some time under the instruction of a parson who was a friend of the family, an exemplary Christian, and a profound scholar.

Being desirous of seeing the world beyond the sea-girt isle of Britain, in 1818 Kenneth MacKenzie was about to start for the West Indies, but being opposed by the counsel of his friends, abandoned the project. He then received a cordial invitation from a wealthy uncle, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, who owned immense tracts of land in Canada, to emigrate to North America, and there to commence business, as the field to wealth and position was less occupied than in the country of his nativity.

This invitation of his uncle was hailed with rapture by Kenneth MacKenzie, and operated like electricity upon his sanguine temperament. America was the subject of his day thoughts, and he dreamed at night of the distant regions. He determined upon visiting the land which a prophetic feeling told him was to be his future home; and determined to gain the consent of his parents, whom he tenderly loved. He was then placed in one of those dilemmas so frequently experienced by youth, a sense of duty or a gratification of a controlling desire. Affection, duty, instinct, all prompted him to gain the consent of his parents and ask their parting blessing; but he dreaded their refusal, and the hopes of the future had been so long connected with the transatlantic country, that he clandestinely started from home, with a heart almost bursting for his filial disobedience, and took shipping from Glasgow to Quebec.

A little while after his arrival in Canada, Mr. MacKenzie connected himself with the British North-West Company, and in their service gained the first lessons in the fur trade, which he carried on so extensively a few years afterward. He remained in the employment of the company for four years, and after well becoming initiated in all the mysteries of that lucrative business, he determined on removing to St. Louis, and engaging in the same pursuit, where he could extend his trading operations with the Indians from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

In 1822, Mr. Mackenzie having wound up his business in Canada, started for St. Louis, where he established a company, known as the Columbia Fur Company. This company did a very lucrative trade, and Mr. MacKenzie became known to all the different tribes of Indians who inhabited the banks of the Missouri, from its mouth to the Rocky Mountains. He possessed singular control over those savage tribes, and often soothed their discontent, and prevented them from assailing government agents for the wrongs and the frauds they often committed. They looked upon him as their friend and readily submitted to his counsel.

In 1827, the Columbia Fur Company was merged into the American Fur Company, of which the late well known John Jacob Astor was at the head, and much of that princely wealth, which has made his name famous

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over the globe, was garnered at that time in the trade with the Indians. Pierre Chouteau, whose name is so intimately blended with St. Louis, was also connected with the company.

At this period the labors of Mr. MacKenzie were Herculean. He travelled more than twenty-five times across the plains, and one summer alone performed the distance of more than three thousand miles on horseback, through a country where the Indian roamed, and where the axe of the pioneer had not then been heard. The open prairies were his bed and resting place, and a piece of dried buffalo meat satisfied his appetite. With this company he remained connected until its dissolution in 1834. He then joined the western branch of the company, of which there are living besides himself Mr. Pierre Chouteau, and Mr. Ramsay Crooke of New York. [5]

In June 26, 1842, Mr. MacKenzie became united in wedlock to Miss Mary Marshall, the accomplished daughter of Colonel Marshall, of Tennessee. In 1826 and 1836 he visited Europe, for the purpose of gathering information relative to the process of manufacturing wine, and visited the most celebrated vintages of that country. He is now the efficient agent for the Missouri Wine Company, and his experience renders him most suitable to that position.

The life of Mr. MacKenzie has been an eventful one, and most of the large fortune ho possesses has been gathered amid toil, fatigue and danger. His mind is stored with interesting anecdotes, which lend a still greater interest to his natural social qualities. He probably knows better than any man living the early history of the settlements on the Missouri.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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