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Contact the Commissioner
Fax: 867.393.6201

412 Main Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2B7


James Morrow Walsh

Photo of James Morrow Walsh

Term of Office: 1897 (August 17) – 1898 (July 4)
Preceded by: Thomas Fawcett
Succeeded by: William Ogilvie

Born: 1840 (May 20), Prescott, Ontario
Died: 1905 (July 25), Brockville, Ontario


  • Considered by some to be the first Commissioner of Yukon.  However, since Yukon did not become a territory separate from the Northwest Territories until the following year, that title is more accurately reserved for the next Commissioner: William Ogilvie
  • He was a Superintendent of the North-West Mounted Police assigned to Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan before becoming Commissioner.
  • Before joining the North-West Mounted Police he worked a variety of jobs from a machinist to a hotel manager.
  • As an officer of the North-West Mounted Police he was appointed Commissioner to bring law and order to the region as thousands of people began pouring in during the gold rush.
  • He was given the title Commissioner because the title Lieutenant Governor was already taken in the Northwest Territories which Yukon was then a district of.
  • After being appointed Commissioner he departed Ottawa on September 23rd 1897 but did not arrive in Dawson until May 21st, 1898.
  • By the time he arrived in Dawson he had already decided to resign and left shortly after. 
  • Mount Walsh in the Saint Elias Mountains, Yukon is named after him.