JMNWT1212 Old Columbia River found 1820 Northwest Company Token. Condition is poor but beaver is still visible as the images show. This is from the collection of the Late OAS Legend Lloyd McLeod. Rarely does an artifact come to symbolize a great historical change. When 5,000 North West Tokens were minted in 1820 the Columbia River fur trade was controlled by the North West Company. In the Midwest competition with the Hudson Bay Company was so keen that employees of the two companies actually fought each other. To end the violence, parliament forced the merger of the two companies in 1821. By the time the North West Tokens arrived at Fort George in Astoria, the North West Company employees were now Hudson Bay employees. Only a small percentage of the tokens have survived the last 180 years. Nearly all have been in the ground, and the vast majority of the 200 or so that survive are heavily pitted and corroded.