Normand MacLeod

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Normand MacLeod (c. 1731 – 1796) was a British army officer, merchant, and official of the British Indian Department.

He was born on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, about 1731. At age sixteen he joined the Forty Second Highlanders (Black Watch) Regiment, and went with his unit to the Netherlands and what is now Belgium. By 1756 he was an ensign as the regiment went to New York to fight in the French and Indian War. In 1760 Macleod won promotion to captain lieutenant and transferred to the Eighteenth Regiment. In 1761 Macleod attended the Niagara Conference held between Sir William Johnson and Pontiac. Macleod heard a rumor that Pontiac was being paid ten shillings a day by the British and this was creating resentment among other Indians which would "end in his ruin."[1] Soon after this Macleod and 120 men took food and supplies to Detroit, and when he returned he took command of the British fort at Fort Oswego, New York, on Lake Erie,[2] where his title was "Commissary of Indian Affairs.[3] He continued working as an agent between Johnson and the Michigan Indians for several years.[4] Macleod sent Johnson a bottle of oil from a lake which the Indians thought had curative powers; he negotiated a peace between the Seneca and Mississauga tribes.[5]

When the French and Indian War ended the army put Macleod on half-pay. He married Cecile Robert, daughter of Antoine Robert of Detroit.[6] Macleod also joined the Masons.

In 1774 he moved to Detroit, where he set up a general store with nineteen investors. Three years later he was "town major," a military form of mayor. In 1778 he accompanied Henry Hamilton on the attack of Vincennes, Indiana, but went back to Detroit before Vincennes was captured by George Rogers Clark in February 1779. By 1782 Macleod was still in Detroit and was father to one child. He bought interest in a fur trading company with John Gregory and called their company Gregory, Macleod and Co. They later invited Sir Alexander Mackenzie to buy a share in the company; by 1785 Peter Pangman and John Ross became partners as well, and Alexander's cousin, Roderick Mackenzie, served as apprentice clerk.[7] Macleod worked in the company several years before moving to Montreal, where he died in 1796.[8]


  1. ^ O'Toole, Fintan. White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005, p. 266
  2. ^ Macleod, Normand. Detroit to Fort sackville, 1778-1779: The Journal of Normand Macleod. Detroit: Burton Historical Collection of Detroit Public Library, 1978, pp. v-ix.
  3. ^ Callahan, E. O. editor. The Documentary History of the State of New York, Albany: Weed, Parsons, 1849, volume 2, pp. 876-77.
  4. ^ McConnell, Michael N. A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and its Peoples, 1724-1774, Norman: University of Nebraska Press, 1992, pp. 263-66, 323 n. 19, 21
  5. ^ New York State Library, Annual Report, 1908, in 3 volumes, Albany: University of the State of New York, 1910. volume 2, supplement 5, p. 374
  6. ^ Stoetzel, Donald I. Encyclopedia of the French and Indian War in North America, 1754-1763. Westminster, MD.: Heritage Books, 2008, p. 305
  7. ^ "Sir Alexander MacKenzie" article, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, volume 5
  8. ^ Macleod, Normand. Detroit to Fort Sackville, 1778-1779: The Journal of Normand Macleod. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1978, pp.x - xxxiv.

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