Pugets Sound Agricultural Company
The Puget Sound Agricultural Company (PSAC), commonly referred to with variations of the name using Puget Sound or Puget's Sound, was a joint stock company formed around 1840 as a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). The purpose of the company was ostensibly to promote settlement by British subjects of land on the Pacific coast of North America. Company operations were centered at Fort Nisqually in the Columbia District (known to Americans as the Oregon Country). At the fort (near present day Olympia, Washington) the company developed dairy, livestock and produce farms. The company also operated many large farms in the area of Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island. The primary reason for the company's incorporation was to protect HBC board members and shareholders from accusations and suits resulting from violation of that company's terms of license, which were only to trade with the native peoples and did not include the right to engage in commercial farming.
In 1838, George Simpson of the HBC requested from Parliament in London additional powers to raise food for sale to visiting ships, notably to provide a supply contract with the Russian America Company, and to promote the settlement of the Oregon Country. This request was denied so the HBC created a subsidiary company to be kept at arms length to accomplish this task.
The Oregon Treaty
The Oregon Treaty that was negotiated in between Great Britain and the United States and went into effect in July 1846 upon the exchange of ratifications settled the Oregon question. This treaty had specific provisions regarding the Puget Sound Agricultural Company in Article IV, namely that the United States would respect PSAC property but had the right to purchase any of the properties.
In 1863, Great Britain and the United States agreed to arbitrate the disposition of the PSAC properties in US territory. The PSAC was awarded $200,000 in compensation in 1869 for all of its properties south of the Canadian-US border as spelled out in the Oregon Treaty. Meanwhile the company’s operations had shifted north, including agricultural ventures on Vancouver Island. In 1934 the company ceased to be listed on the stock exchange.
- Indian Claims Commission: Steilacoom Tribe v. U.S. A
- Indian Claims Commission: Steilacoom Tribe v. U.S. B
- "The Puget Sound Agricultural Company". Hbc Heritage. Hudson’s Bay Company. Retrieved 2007-01-17.
- LexUM (1999). "Treaty between Her Majesty and the United States of America, for the Settlement of the Oregon Boundary". Canado-American Treaties. University of Montreal. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
- "IV. Fort Vancouver: Vancouver Barracks, 1861-1918". Fort Vancouver. National Parks Service. Retrieved 2007-01-17.