Angus McDonald was a Hudson’s Bay Company employee at Fort Colville, and the leader of the 1855 fur brigade when it came to Fort Nisqually.
Edward Huggins would recall in his later year “‘Twas about 11:00 a. m. on a bright morning when McDonald rode into the fort yard alone, and he looked as I expected, like a mountaineer, and hunter. Was about six feet in height, slim, but well made, with long curly black hair, and long black beard. He spoke in low, measured tones, would walk about a room, and tell some interesting stories of Indian life.”
About the book:
The year is 1838. A young Scotsman forced from his homeland arrives at Hudson’s Bay. Angus McDonald is contracted to British masters to trade for fur. But the world he discovers is beyond even a Highlander’s wildest imaginings: raging rivers, buffalo hunts, and the powerful daughter of an ancient and magnificent people. In Catherine Baptiste, kin to Nez Perce chiefs, Angus recognizes a kindred spirit. The Rocky Mountain West in which they meet will soon be torn apart by competing claims: between British fur traders, American settlers, and the Native peoples who have lived for millennia in the valleys and plateaus of the Shining Mountains’ western slopes.
In this epic family saga, the real history of the American West is revealed in all its terror, beauty, and complexity. The Shining Mountains brilliantly limns a world now long forgotten: of blended cultures seeking allies, trading furs for guns and steel, and a way of life in collision with westward colonial expansion.
About the author:
Alix Christie is the direct descendant of Angus McDonald’s brother Duncan. Her debut novel, Gutenberg’s Apprentice, was published by Harper Books in 2014. For the past thirty years she has reported for newspapers in California and from Europe as a foreign correspondent, including for the Washington Post, the Guardian of London, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon.com. She currently reviews books and arts for The Economist. She lives in San Francisco, California.