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FINLAYSON, Isobel Graham

Born
London, England, 1811
Died
London, England, 1890
Biography synopsis
Born in London, England, Isobel Graham Finlayson (née Isobel Graham Simpson) was the daughter of Geddes McKenzie Simpson and Frances Hume Hawkins. Sister to Frances Ramsay Simpson, wife of Governor George Simpson, Finlayson came from a large family. On 10th November 1838, she married Duncan Finlayson, the Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Factor and Governor of Assiniboia, at St. Leonard’s Church in Bromley, Middlesex. Due to health concerns, Finlayson waited until June 1839 before making the long journey from England to Red River, Manitoba. From June 6, 1840 until September 1, 1840 Finlayson kept a notebook recording her travel experiences and made seven accompanying illustrations in pencil of First Nations people she encountered. During the first leg of her trip, from England to York Factory, Finlayson was accompanied by James and Letitia Hargrave; accounts of their meeting are also mentioned in the published letters of Mrs. Hargrave. From York Factory onwards, Finlayson was accompanied by her husband to their new home in the Red River Settlement. Between 1844 and 1859, the Finlaysons lived in Lachine, Québec until they returned to London following Duncan Finlayson’s retirement from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1859. Finlayson survived her husband by almost 30 years, and though she never had children of her own, she had become second mother to her sister’s children after Frances Simpson’s death in 1853.
Media used
Drawing
Pen and Ink
File & Archive locations
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Provincial Archives of Manitoba
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
"?" American Neptune: A Quarterly Journal of Maritime History Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody and Essex Museum, 12 (1952): 167.
"Duncan Finlayson/Isobel Graham Simpson." http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mackenzie/d0004/f0000499.html Ancestry.com, 2000.
"Finlayson, Duncan." Nature Canada 6 (Oct-Dec. 1977): 9.
Berry, Virginia G. A Boundless Horizon: Visual Records of Exploration and Settlement in the Manitoba Region, 1624-1874. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1983.
Brown, Alison K. ed. "Material Histories: Proceedings of a workshop held at Marishal Museum, University of Aberdeen, 26-27 April 2007." http://www.abdn.ac.uk/materialhistories/proceedings.php Aberdeen, United Kingdom: University of Aberdeen, 2007.
Brown, Jennifer S. H. Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.
Bumsted, J. M. Dictionary of Manitoba Biography. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Bumsted, J. M. Trials and Tribulations: The Red River Settlement and the Emergence of Manitoba, 1811-1870. Winnipeg: Great Plains Publications, 2003.
Buss, Helen M. "Dear Domestic Circle: Frameworks for the literary study of women's personal narratives in archival collections." Studies in Canadian Literature 14.1 (1989): 1-17.
Buss, Helen M. "The Dear Domestic Circle." http://lib.unb.ca/Texts/SCL/bin/get.cgi?directory=vol14_1/&filename=Buss.htm Studies in Canadian Literature, 1989.
Carter, Kathryn. "Women's Diaries Written in Canada." http://info.wlu.ca/~wwwbrant/pages/people/kcarter/ Laurier Brantford, 2004.
English, John, ed. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Ottawa: Libraries and Archives Canada, 2008
http://www.biographi.ca/.
Fairbanks, Carol and Sara Brooks Sundberg. Farm Women on the Prairie Frontier: a sourcebook for Canada and the United States. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1983.
Friesen, Gerald. The Canadian Prairies: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987.
Hargrave, Letitia Mactavish and Margaret Arnett MacLeod. The letters of Letitia Hargrave. Toronto: Champlain Society, 1947.
Harper, J. Russell. Early Painters and Engravers in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.
Hogeveen, Yolanda and Jennifer Janzen. Quest for the Bay: Teacher Resource Guide. Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press, 2002.
Hudson's Bay Record Society. Publications of the Hudson's Bay Record Society, Volume 24. Winnipeg: Champlain Society, ?.
Judd, Carol M. and Arthur J. Ray. Old Trails and New Directions: Papers of the Third North American Fur Trade Conference. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.
Light, Beth and Victoria J. Strong-Boag. True Daughters of the North: Canadian Women's History an annotated bibliography. unknown: OISE Press, 1980.
Mitchell, Marybelle. From Talking Chiefs to a Native Corporate Elite: The birth of class and nationalism among Canadian Inuit. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1996.
Pederson, Diana Lynn. Changing Women, Changing History. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1996.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Project Muse. "York Boat Journal." Canadian Historical Review 1952.
Robbins, John Everett, ed. Encyclopedia Canadiana. Ottawa: Canadiana Company of Canada, Grolier Society of Canada, 1957.
Speake, Jennifer. Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Taylor and Francis Group, 2003.
The Manitoba Historical Society. "Isobel Graham Finlayson Simpson (1811-1890)." http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/simpson_igf.shtml 2009.
Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
Trollope, Joanna. Britannia's Daughters: Women of the British Empire." London, England: Hutchinson, 1983.
Van Kirk, Sylvia. Many Tender Ties: Women in fur-trade society, 1670-1870. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983.
Venema, Kathleen. "Letitia Mactavish Hargrave and Hudson's Bay Company Domestic Politics." Recalling Early Canada. Calgary: University of Alberta, 2005.
Venema, Kathleen and Cecily Devereux, eds. "Women Writing Home, 1700-1920: Female Correspondence Across the British Empire, Volume 3: Canada." http://www.pickeringchatto.com/major_works/women_writing_home_1700_1920 Pickering and Chatto, 2006.
Warkentin, Germaine. Canadian Exploration Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Writings by
Finlayson, Isobel Graham. Note Book, 1840-1845. Winnipeg: Hudson's Bay Company Archive, 1845.
Finlayson, Isobel Graham. "Indians traveling in winter (Illustration)." Beaver Hudson's Bay Company, 303 (Spring 1973): 23.
Finlayson, Isobel Graham. "York Boat Journal." Beaver Hudson's Bay Company, 282 (Dec. 1951): 32-7.
Finlayson, Isobel Graham. "York Boat Journal." Beaver Hudson's Bay Company, 282 (Sept. 1951): 32-5.
Finlayson, Isobel Graham. "York Boat Journal." www.turtle-island.com/files/isobel_finlayson_beaver_journal_1.pdf 1951.

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