Dease, Napoleon (1827-1861)

Napoleon Dease was the eighth and youngest child of John Warren Dease, a trader with the Northwest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company (“HBC”). He was born in 1827, and began employment with the HBC in 1846, serving as an apprentice carpenter at Fort Colville (1847-48), (though Pratt mentions that Dease served in 1841 at Fort Vancouver). Subsequent to his brief stint at Fort Victoria in 1848 he returned to Fort Langley where he and his Saanich wife, Marguerite, raised three children. Dease then worked at Fort Hope (1852-53), until he was accused of “scandalous conduct” and transferred to San Juan Island (1854), where he was employed as carpenter at the Belle Vue Sheep Farm for five years. In 1859 he returned to Fort Langley, where he died in 1861.


  • Barman, Jean. "Family Life at Fort Langley." BC Historical News 32, 4 (Fall 1999): 16-23.
  • “Belle Vue Sheep Farm Correspondence 1853-1857,”
  • “Belle Vue Sheep Farm Post Journals 1854,”
  • Evans, Mike “Napoleon Dease,” BC Metis Mapping Project.
  • Pratt, Boyd C. “Servants of the Company,” (February, 2012).
  • Watson, Bruce McIntyre. Lives Lived West of the Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858. Kelowna, B.C.: Centre for Social, Spatial and Economic Justice, University of British Columbia, 2010.
Frederick Gentz and Graham Brazier