DAVID THOMPSON: Though to my knowledge David did not trade
in furs in the midwest, he was a trader out of Hudson's Bay for the Hudson
Bay Co. between 1784-1797 and after 1797 traded for the Northwest Fur Co.
in the far west. While employed by the NWCo. David was given the task of
developing a map of the western lands for the company, a process that led
him through what he later proved to be the southern boundary of Canada
& into today's North Dakota and Minnesota.
David Thompson was born in West Minister,
London, England (30 apr.1770) & died at Longeuil, near Montreal (10
feb.1857). Before he arrived in North America, he had attended Oxford
Univ. which no doubt made him a good candidate to receive training later,
from Peter Fidler (1769-1822), then HBCo. surveyor. David's first two years
with HBCo. were spent as clerk, store keeper & hunter at Ft.York &
Churchill. As I stated before David left the HBCo. for the Northwest Fur
Co. in 1797, due to the recruitment efforts of Alexander Fraser, who opposed
him in trade at Reindeer Lake. By the end of 1798 he had traveled to the
Mandan villages, the Red River, Red Lake & the Savanna Portage and
spent the winter or 1798-99 as NWCo. clerk in Athabaska country. By 1801
he had reached the Rocky Mts. and 1804 to 1810 was establishing NWCo. posts
on the Upper Columbia River. After visiting the Pacific Ocean in 1811,
David retired from the fur trade in 1812. But his retirement did not last
long for he became apart of a team to survey (1816-26) the international
boundary between Canada & the U.S., with Dr. John Bigsby.
David eventually settled at Terre Bonne, Canada
& was married to the French/Cree daughter of Patrick Small.