THE ANSON NORTHUP
by George Siamandas
On May 19, 1859 the Anson Northup became the first steamboat to successfully launch on the Red River reaching Fort Garry on June 10. It arose out of a sense of opportunity that St Paul Minnesota businessmen saw in the Red River district and the Canadian North West. They were encouraged by the Hudson Bay company's interest in pursuing this American route over their traditional Hudson Bay route. In January 1859 the St Paul Chamber of Commerce offered $1,000 to whoever could put the first riverboat on the Red and get it to Fort Garry. When the prize was raised to $2,000 Captain Anson Northup took on the challenge.