Francois Payette

1793 - post 1844

Payette, Francois, fur trader (1793-post 1844). Born near Montreal, he began his career as a canoeman, was hired by John Jacob Astor and shipped to Oregon aboard the Beaver, entering the mouth of the Columbia May 9, 1812. With sale of Astoria, Payette joined the North West Company, "accompanying numerous expeditions into the interior." A river in Idaho, and a city are named for him. In 1821 when the Hudson's Bay Company absorbed the North West Company, Payette transferred allegiance to the HBC. He took part in notable fur gathering-trading expeditions throughout the upper Rockies and was an occasional interpreter, sometimes second in command of brigades, and clerk. He was stationed at Fort Boise for his last years with the company, retiring June 1, 1844, and returning to Montreal, where he disappears. He was one of the more able and worthy HBC men in the interior of the Northwest.