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The Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company
CHAPTER XVI. - THE GREAT EXPLORATION


Grand Portage on American soil—Anxiety about the boundary— David Thompson, astronomer and surveyor—His instructions —By swift canoe—The land of beaver—A dash to the Mandans —Stone Indian House—Fixes the boundary at Pembina—Sources of the Mississippi—A marvellous explorer—Pacific slope explored —Thompson down the Kootenay and Columbia—Fiery Simon Fraser in New Caledonia—Discovers Fraser River—Sturdy John Stuart—Thompson River—Bourgeois Quesnel—Transcontinental expeditions.

A number of events conspired to make it necessary for the North-West Company to be well acquainted with the location of its forts within the limits of the territory of the United States, in some parts of which it carried on operations of trade, and to understand its relation to the Hudson's Bay Company's territory. The treaty of amity and commerce, which is usually connected with the name of John Jay, 1794, seemed to say that all British forts in United States territory were to be evacuated in two years. This threw the partners at Grand Portage into a state of excitement, inasmuch as they knew that the very place of their gathering was on the American side of the boundary line.

DAVID THOMPSON, ASTRONOMER AND SURVEYOR.

At this juncture the fitting instrument appeared at Grand Portage. This was David Thompson. This gentleman was a Londoner, educated at the Blue Coat School, in London. Trained thoroughly in mathematics and the use of astronomical instruments, he had obtained a position in the Hudson's Bay Company. In the summer of 1795, with three companions, two of them Indians, he had found his way from Hudson Bay to Lake Athabasca, and thus showed his capability as an explorer. Returning from his Western expedition, he reported to Mr. Joseph Colon, the officer in charge at York Fort, by whose orders he had gone to Athabasca, and expressed himself as willing to undertake further explorations for the Company. The answer was curt—to the effect that no more surveys could then be undertaken by the Company, however desirable. Thompson immediately decided to seek employment elsewhere in the work for which he was so well qualified. Leaving the Bay and the Company behind, attended only by two Indians, he journeyed inland and presented himself at the summer meeting of the North-West fur-traders at Grand Portage. Without hesitation they appointed him astronomer and surveyor of the North-West Company. Astronomer Thompson's work was well mapped out for him.

(1) He was instructed to survey the forty-ninth parallel of latitude. This involved a question which had greatly perplexed the diplomatists, viz. the position of the source of the Mississippi. Many years after this date it was a question to decide which tributary is the source of the Mississippi, and to this day there is a difference of opinion on the subject, i.e. which of the lakes from which different branches spring is the true source of the river. The fact that the sources were a factor in the settling of the boundary line of this time made it necessary to have expert testimony on the question such as could be furnished by a survey by Thompson.

(2) The surveyor was to go to the Missouri and visit the ancient villages of the natives who dwelt there and who practised agriculture.

(3) In the interests of science and history, to inquire for the fossils of large animals, and to search for any monuments that might throw a light on the ancient state of the regions traversed.

(4) It was his special duty to determine the exact position of the posts of the North-West Company visited by him, and all agents and employ6s were instructed to render him every assistance in his work.

Astronomer Thompson only waited the departure of one of the Great Northern brigades to enter upon the duties of his new office. These departures were the events of the year, having in the eyes of the fur-traders something of the nature of a caravan for Mecca about them. Often a brigade consisted of eight canoes laden with goods and well-manned. The brigade which Thompson accompanied was made up of four canoes under trader McGillis, and was ready to start on August 9th, 1796. He had taken the observation for Grand Portage and found it to be 48 deg. (nearly) N. latitude and 89 deg. 3' 4" (nearly) W. longitude.

He was now ready with his instruments—a sextant of ten inches radius, with quicksilver and parallel glasses, an excellent achromatic telescope, one of the smaller kind, drawing instruments, and a thermometer, and all of these of the best make. The portage was wearily trudged, and in a few days, after a dozen shorter portages, the height of land was reached in 48 deg. N. latitude, and here begins the flow of water to Hudson Bay. It was accordingly the claim of the Hudson's Bay Company that their territory extended from this point to the Bay. At the outlet of Rainy Lake still stood a trading post, where Verendrye had founded his fort, and the position of this was determined, 48 deg. 1' 2" N. latitude. In this locality was also a post of the Hudson's Bay Company.

No post seems at this time to have been in use on Rainy River or Lake of the Woods by any of the trading companies, though it will be seen that the X Y Company was at this date beginning its operations. At the mouth of the Winnipeg River, however, there were two establishments, the one known as Lake Winnipeg House, or Bas de la Riviere, an important distributing point, now found to be in 50 deg. 1' 2" N. latitude. There was also near by it the Hudson's Bay Company post, founded in the previous year.

Thompson, being in company with his brigade, which was going to the west of Lake Manitoba, coasted along Lake Winnipeg, finding it dangerous to cross directly, and after taking this roundabout, in place of the 127 miles in a straight line, reached what is now known as the Little Saskatchewan River on the west side of Lake Winnipeg.

Going by the little Saskatchewan River through its windings and across the meadow portage, he came to Lake Winnipegoosis and, northward along its western coast, reached Swan River, the trappers' paradise. Swan River post was twelve miles up the river from its mouth, and was found to be in 52 deg 24' N. latitude. Crossing over to the Assiniboine (Stone Indian) River, he visited several posts, the most considerable being Fort Tremblant (Poplar Fort), which some think had its name changed to Fort Alexandria in honour of Sir Alexander Mackenzie.

John McDonnell, North-West trader of this period, says :— "Fort Tremblant and the temporary posts established above it furnished most of the beaver and otter in the Red River returns, but the trade has been almost ruined since the Hudson's Bay Company entered the Assiniboine River by the way of Swan River, carrying their merchandise from one river to the other on horseback—three days' journey—who by that means, and the short distance between Swan River and their factory at York Fort, from whence they are equipped, can arrive at the coude de l'homme (a river bend or angle) in the Assiniboine River, a month sooner than we can return from Grand Portage, secure the fall trade, give credits to the Indians, and send them to hunt before our arrival; so that wo see but few in that quarter upon our arrival."

The chief trader of this locality was Cuthbert Grant, who, as before mentioned, was a man of great influence in the fur trade.

The astronomer next went to the Fort between the Swan and Assiniboine Rivers, near the spot whore the famous Fort Pelly of the present day is situated. Taking horses, a rapid land journey was made to Belleau's Fort, lying in 53 deg. N. latitude (nearly).

The whole district is a succession of beaver meadows, and had at this time several Hudson's Bay Company posts, as already mentioned. Thompson decided to winter in this beaver country, and when the following summer had fairly sot in with good roads and blossoming prairies, he came, after journeying more than 200 miles southward, to the Qu'Appelle River post, which was at that time under a trader named Thorburn. Thompson was now fairly on the Assiniboine River, and saw it everywhere run through an agreeable country with a good soil and adapted to agriculture.

Arrived at Assiniboine House, he found it in charge of John McDonnell, brother of the well-known Miles McDonnell, who, a few years later, became Lord Selkirk's first governor on Red River. Ensconcing himself in the comfortable quarters at Assiniboine House, Thompson wrote up in ink his journals, maps, astronomical observations, and sketches which he had taken in crayon, thus giving them more permanent form. He had now been in the employ of the North-West Company a full year, and in that time had been fully gratified by the work he had done and by the cordial reception given him in all the forts to which he had gone.

Assiniboine House, or, as he called it, Stone Indian House, was found to be a congenial spot. It was on the north side of the Assiniboine River, not far from where the Souris River empties its waters into the larger stream, though the site has been disputed.

One of the astronomer's clearly defined directions was to visit the Mandan villages on the Missouri River. He was now at the point when this could be accomplished, although the time chosen by him, just as winter was coming on, was most unsuitable. His journey reminds us of that made by Verendrye to the Mandans in 1738.

The journey was carefully prepared for. With the characteristic shrewdness of the North-West Company, it was so planned as to require little expenditure. Thompson was to be accompanied chiefly by free-traders, i.e. by men to whom certain quantities of goods would be advanced by the Company. By the profits of this trade expenses would be met. The guide and interpreter was René Jussaume (a man of very doubtful character), who had fallen into the ways of the Western Indians. He had lived for years among the Mandans, and spoke their language. Another free-trader, Hugh McCracken, an Irishman, also knew the Mandan country, while several French Canadians, with Brossman, the astronomer's servant man, made up the company. Each of the traders took a credit from Mr. McDonnell of from forty to fifty skins in goods. Ammunition, tobacco, and trinkets, to pay expenses, were provided, and Thompson was supplied with two horses, and his chief trader, Jussaume, with one. The men had their own dogs to the number of thirty, and these drew goods on small sleds. Crossing the Assiniboine, the party started south-westward, and continued their journey for thirty-three days, with the thermometer almost always below zero and reaching at times 36 deg. below. The journey was a most dangerous and trying one and covered 280 miles. Thompson found that some Hudson's Bay traders had already made flying visits to the Mandans. On his return, Thompson's itinerary was, from the Missouri till he reached the angle of the Souris River, seventy miles, where he found abundant wood and shelter, and then to the south end of Turtle Mountain, fourteen miles. Leaving Turtle Mountain, his next station was twenty-four miles distant at a point on the Souris where an outpost of Assiniboine House, known as Ash House, had been established. Another journey of forty-five miles brought the expedition back to the hospitable shelter of Mr. McDonnell at Stone Indian House. Thompson now calculated the position of this comfortable fort and found it to be 49 deg. 41' (nearly) N. latitude and 101 deg. 1'4" (nearly) W. longitude.

The astronomer, after spending a few weeks in making up his notes and surveys, determined to go eastward and undertake the survey of the Red River. On February 2Gth, 1798, he started with three French Canadians and an Indian guide. Six dogs drew three sleds laden with baggage and provisions. The company soon reached the sand hills, then called the Manitou Hills, from some supposed supernatural agency in their neighbourhood. Sometimes on the ice, and at other times on the north shore of the Assiniboine to avoid the bends of the river, the party went, experiencing much difficulty from the depth of the snow. At length, after Journeying ten days over the distance of 169 miles, the junction of the Assiniboine and Red River, at the point where now stands the city of Winnipeg, was reached. There was no trading post here at the time. It seems somewhat surprising that what became the chief trading centre of the company, Fort Garry, during the first half of this century should, up to the end of the former century, not have been taken possession of by any of the three competing fur companies.

Losing no time, Thompson began, on March 7th, the survey, and going southward over an unbroken trail, with the snow three feet deep, reached in seven days Pembina Post, then under the charge of a leading French trader of the company, named Charles Chaboillez. Wearied with a journey of some sixty-four miles, which had, from the bad road, taken seven days, Thompson enjoyed the kind shelter of Pembina House for six days. This house was near the forty-ninth parallel and was one of the especial points he had been appointed to determine. He found Pembina House to be in latitude 48 deg. 58' 24" N., so that it was by a very short distance on the south side of the boundary line. Thompson marked the boundary, so that the trading post might be removed, when necessary, to the north side of the line. A few years later, the observation taken by Thompson was confirmed by Major Long on his expedition of 1823, but the final settlement of where the line falls was not made till the time of the boundary commission of 1872.

Pushing southward in March, the astronomer ascended Red River to the trading post known as Upper Red River, near where the town of Grand Forks, North Dakota, stands to-day. Here he found J. Baptiste Cadot, probably the son of the veteran master of Sault Ste. Marie, who so long clung to the flag of the Golden Lilies.

Thompson now determined to survey what had been an object of much interest, the lake which was the source of the great River Mississippi. To do this had been laid upon him in his instructions from the North-West Company. Making a detour from Grand Forks, in order to avoid the ice on the Red Lake River, he struck the upper waters of that river, and followed the banks until he reached Red Lake in what is now North-Eastern Minnesota. Leaving this lake, he made a portage of six miles to Turtle Lake, and four days later reached the point considered by him to be the source of the Mississippi. Turtle Lake, at the time of the treaty of 1783, was supposed to be further north than the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods. This arose, Thompson tells us, from the voyageurs counting a pipe to a league, at the end of which time it was the fur-traders' custom to take a rest. Each pipe, that is, the length of time taken to smoke a pipe, however, was nearer two miles than three, so that the head waters of the Mississippi had been counted 128 miles further north than Thompson found them to be. It is to be noted, however, that the Astronomer Thompson was wrong in making Turtle Lake the source of the Mississippi. The accredited source of the Mississippi was discovered, as we shall afterwards see, in July, 1832, to be Lake Itasca, which lies about half a degree southwest of Turtle Lake.

Thompson next visited Red Cedar Lake, in the direction of Lake Superior. Here he found a North-West trading house, Upper Red Cedar House, under the command of a partner, John Sayer, whose half-blood son afterward figured in Red River history. He found that Sayer and his men passed the winter on wild rice and maple sugar as their only food.

Crossing over to Sand Lake River, Mr. Thompson found a small post of the North-West Company, and, descending this stream, came to Sand Lake. By portage, reaching a small stream, a tributary of St. Louis River, he soon arrived at that river itself, with its rapids and dalles, and at length reached the North-West trading post near the mouth of the river, where it joined the Fond du Lac.

Having come to Lake Superior, the party could only obtain a dilapidated northern canoe, but with care it brought them, after making an enormous circuit and accomplishing feats involving great daring and supreme hardship, along the north shore of the lake to Grand Portage. On hearing his report of two years' work, the partners, at the annual meeting at Grand Portage, found they had made no mistake in their appointment, and gave him the highest praise.

The time had now come, after the union of the North-West Company and the X Y Company, for pushing ahead the great work in their hands and examining the vast country across the Rocky Mountains. The United Company in 1805 naturally took up what had been planned several years before, and sent David Thompson up the Saskatchewan to explore the Columbia River and examine the vast "sea of mountains" bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The other partner chosen was Simon Fraser, and his orders were to go up the Peace River, cross the Rockies, and explore the region from its northern side. We shall see how well Fraser did his part, and meanwhile we may follow Thompson in his journey.

In 1806, we find that he crossed the Rockies and built in the following year a trading-house for the North-West Company on the Lower Columbia. Thompson called his trading post Kootenay House, and indeed his persistent use of the term "Kootenay" rather than "Columbia," which he well knew was the name of the river, is somewhat remarkable. Coming over the pass during the summer he returned to Kootenay House and wintered there in 1807-1808. During the summer of 1808, he visited possibly Grand Portage, certainly Fort Vermilion. Fort Vermilion, a short distance above the present Fort Pitt, was well down the north branch of the Saskatchewan River, and on his way to it, Thompson would pass Fort Augustus, a short distance below where Edmonton now stands, as well as Fort George.

He left Fort Vermilion in September, and by October 21st, the Saskatchewan being frozen over, he laid up canoes for the winter, and taking horses, crossed the Rocky Mountains, took to canoes on the Columbia River again, and on November 10th arrived at his fort of Kootenay House, where he wintered. On this journey, Thompson discovered Howse's Pass, which is about 52 deg. N. latitude.

In 1809, Thompson determined on extending his explorations southward on the Columbia River. A short distance south of the international boundary line, he built a post in September of that year. He seems to have spent the winter of this year in trying new routes, some of which he found impracticable, and can hardly be said to have wintered at any particular spot. In his pilgrimage, he went up the Kootenay River, which he called McGillivray's River, in honour of the famous partner, but the name has not been retained. Hastening to his post of Kootenay House, he rested a day, and travelling by means of canoes and horses, in great speed came eastward and reached Fort Augustus, eight days out from Kootenay, June 22nd, 1810. From this point he went eastward, at least as far as Rainy Lake, leaving his "little family" with his sister-in-law, a Cree woman, at Winnipeg River House.

Returning, he started on October 10th, 1810, for Athabasca. He discovered the Athabasca Pass on the "divide," and on July 3rd, 1811, started to descend the Columbia, and did so, the first white man, as far as Lewis River, from which point Lewis and Clark in 1805, having come over the Rocky Mountains, had preceded him to the sea. Near the junction of the Spokane River with the Columbia, he erected a pole and tied to it a half-sheet of paper, claiming the country north of the forks as British territory. This notice was seen by a number of the Astor employes, for Ross states that ho observed it in August, with a British flag flying upon it. Thompson's name among the Indians of the coast was "Koo-Koo-Suit."
Ross Cox states that "in the month of July, 1811, Mr. David Thompson, Astronomer to the North-West Company, of which he was also a proprietor, arrived with nine men in a canoe at Astoria from the interior. This gentleman came on a voyage of discovery to the Columbia, preparatory to the North-West Company forming a settlement at the mouth of the river. He remained at Astoria until the latter end of July, when he took his departure for the interior."

Thompson was thus disappointed on finding the American company installed at the mouth of the Columbia before him, but he re-ascended the river and founded two forts on its banks at advantageous points.

Thompson left the western country with his Indian wife and children soon after this, and in Eastern Canada, in 1812-13, prepared a grand map of the country, which adorned for a number of years the banqueting-room of the bourgeois at Fort William and is now in the Government buildings at Toronto.

In 1814 he definitely left the upper country, and was employed by the Imperial Government in surveying a part of the boundary line of the United States and Canada. He also surveyed the water-courses between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay. He lived for years at the River Raisin, near Williamstown, in Upper Canada, and was very poor. At the great age of eighty-seven, he died at Longueil. He was not appreciated as ho deserved. His energy, scientific knowledge, experience, and successful work for the Company for sixteen years make him one of the most notable men of the period.

SIMON FRASER, FUR-TRADER AND EXPLORER.

As we have seen, the entrance by the northern access to the Pacific slope was confided to Simon Fraser, and we may well, after considering the exploits of David Thompson, refer to those of his colleague in the service.

Simon Fraser, one of the most daring of the fur-traders, was the son of a Scottish U.E. Loyalist, who was captured by the Americans at Burgoyne's surrender and who died in prison. The widowed mother took her infant boy to Canada, and lived near Cornwall. After going to school, the boy, who was of the Roman Catholic faith, entered the North-West Company at the age of sixteen as a clerk, and early became a bourgeois of the Company. His administrative ability led to his being appointed agent at Grand Portage in 1797. A few years afterwards, Fraser was sent to the Athabasca region, which was at that time the point aimed at by the ambitious and determined young Nor'-Westers. By way of Peace River, he undertook to make his journey to the west side of the Rocky Mountains. Leaving the bulk of his command at the Rocky Mountain portage, he pushed on with six men, and reaching the height of land, crossed to the lake, which he called McLeod's in honour of his prominent partner, Archibald Norman McLeod. Stationing three men at this point, Fraser returned to his command and wintered there.

In the spring of 1806 he passed through the mountains, and came upon a river, which he called Stuart River. John Stuart, who was at that time a clerk, was for thirty years afterwards identified with the fur trade. Stuart Lake, in British Columbia, was also called after him. On the Stuart River, Fraser built a post, which, in honour of his fatherland, he called New Caledonia, and this probably led to this great region on the west of the mountains being called New Caledonia. Stuart was left in charge of this post, and Fraser went west to a lake, which since that time has been called Fraser Lake. He returned to winter at the new fort.

Eraser's disposition to explore and his success thus far led the Company to urge their confrère to push on and descend the great River Tacoucho Tesse, down which Alexander Mackenzie had gone for some distance, and which was supposed to be the Columbia. It was this expedition which created Eraser's frame. The orders to advance had been brought to him in two canoes by two traders, Jules Maurice Quesnel and (Hugh) Faries.

Leaving behind Faries with two men in the new fort, Fraser, at the mouth of the Nechaco or Stuart River, where afterward stood Fort George, gathered his expedition, and was ready to depart on his great, we may well call it terrific, voyage, down the river which since that time has borne his name. His company consisted of Stuart, Quesnel, nineteen voyageurs, and two Indians, in four canoes. It is worthy of note that John Stuart, who was Fraser's lieutenant, was in many ways the real leader of the expedition. Having been educated in engineering, Stuart, by his scientific knowledge, was indispensable to the exploring party.

On May 22nd a start was made from the forks. We have in Masson's first volume preserved to us Simon Fraser's Journal of this remarkable voyage, starting from the Rockies down the river. The keynote to the whole expedition is given us in the seventh line of the journal. "Having proceeded about eighteen miles, we came to a strong rapid which we ran down, nearly wrecking one of our canoes against a precipice which forms the right bank of the river." A succession of rapids, overhung by enormous heights of perpendicular rocks, made it almost as difficult to portage as it would have been to risk the passage of the canoes and their loads down the boiling cauldron of the river.

Nothing can equal the interest of hearing in the explorer's own words an incident or two of the journey. On the first Wednesday of Juno he writes: "Leaving Mr. Stuart and two men at the lower end of the rapid in order to watch the motions of the natives, I returned with the other four men to the camp. Immediately on my arrival I ordered the five men out of the crews into a canoe lightly loaded, and the canoe was in a moment under way. After passing the first cascade she lost her course and was drawn into the eddy, whirled about for a considerable time, seemingly in suspense whether to sink or swim, the men having no power over her. However, she took a favourable turn, and by degrees was led from this dangerous vortex again into the stream. In this manner she continued, flying from one danger to another, until the last cascade but one, where in spite of every effort the whirlpools forced her against a low projecting rock. Upon this the men debarked, saved their own lives, and continued to save the property, but the greatest difficulty was still ahead, and to continue by water would be the way to certain destruction.

"During this distressing scene, we were on the shore looking on and anxiously concerned ; seeing our poor fellows once more safe afforded us as much satisfaction as to themselves, and we hastened to their assistance; but their situation rendered our approach perilous and difficult. The bank was exceedingly high and steep, and we had to plunge our daggers at intervals into the ground to check our speed, as otherwise we were exposed to slide into the river. We cut steps in the declivity, fastened a line to the front of the canoe, with which some of the men ascended in order to haul it up, while the others supported it upon their arms. In this manner our situation was most precarious ; our lives hung, as it were, upon a thread, as the failure of the line, or a false step of one of the men, might have hurled the whole of us into eternity. However, we fortunately cleared the bank before dark."

Every day brought its dangers, and the progress was very slow. Finding the navigation impossible, on the 26th Fraser says: "As for the road by land, we could scarcely make our way with even only our guns. I have been for a long period among the Rocky Mountains, but have never seen anything like this country. It is so wild that I cannot find words to describe our situation at times. We had to pass where no human being should venture; yet in those places there is a regular footpath impressed, or rather indented upon the very rocks by frequent travelling. Besides this, steps which are formed like a ladder by poles hanging to one another, crossed at certain distances with twigs, the whole suspended from the top, furnish a safe and convenient passage to the natives down these precipices ; but we, who had not had the advantage of their education and experience, were often in imminent danger, when obliged to follow their example."

On the right, as the party proceeded along the river, a considerable stream emptied in, to which they gave the name Shaw's River, from one of the principal wintering partners.

Some distance down, a great river poured in from the left, making notable forks. Thinking that likely the other expedi- tion by way of the Saskatchewan might be on the upper waters of that river at the very time, they called it Thompson River, after the worthy astronomer, and it has retained the name ever since.

But it would be a mistake to think that the difficulties were passed when the forks of the Thompson River were left behind. Travellers on the Canadian-Pacific Railway of to-day will remember the great gorge of the Fraser, and how the railway going at dizzy heights, and on strong overhanging ledges of rock, still fills the heart with fear.

On July 2nd the party reached an arm of the sea and saw the tide ebbing and flowing, showing them they were near the ocean. They, however, found the Indians at this part very troublesome. Fraser was compelled to follow the native custom, "and pretended to be in a violent passion, spoke loud, with vehement gestures, exactly in their own way, and thus peace and tranquillity were instantly restored."

The explorer was, however, greatly disappointed that he had been prevented by the turbulence of the natives from going down the arm of the sea and looking out upon the Pacific Ocean. He wished to take observations on the sea-coast. However, ho got the latitude, and knowing that the Columbia is 45 deg. 20' N., he was able to declare that the river he had followed was not the Columbia. How difficult it is to distinguish small from great actions! Here was a man making fame for all time, and the idea of the greatness of his work had not dawned upon him.

A short delay, and the party turned northward on July 4th, and with many hardships made their way up the river. On their ascent few things of note happened, the only notable event being the recognition of the fame of the second bourgeois, Jules Quesnel, by giving his name to a river flowing into the Fraser River from the east. The name is still retained, and is also given to the lake which marks the enlargement of the river. On August 6th, the party rejoined Faries and his men in the fort on Stuart Lake. The descent occupied forty-two days, and, as explorers have often found in such rivers as the Fraser, the ascent took less time than the descent. In this case, their upward journey was but of thirty-three days.

Fraser returned to the east in the next year and is found in 1811 in charge of the Red River district, two years afterward in command on the Mackenzie River, and at Fort William on Lake Superior, in 1816, when the Fort was taken by Lord Selkirk. After retiring, he lived at St. Andrews on the Ottawa and died at the advanced age of eighty-six, having been known as one of the most noted and energetic fur-traders in the history of the companies.

Thus we have seen the way in which these two kings of adventure—Fraser and Thompson—a few years after Sir Alexander Mackenzie, succeeded amid extraordinary hardships in crossing to the Western Sea. The record of the five transcontinental expeditions of these early times is as follows:—

(1) Alexander Mackenzie, by the Tacouche Tesse and Bellacoola River, 1793.
(2) Lewis and Clark, the American explorers, by the Columbia River, 1805.
(3) Simon Fraser by the river that bears his name, formerly the Tacouche Tesse, 1808.
(4) David Thompson, by the Columbia River, 1811.
(5) The overland party of Astorians, by the Columbia, 1811.

These expeditions shed a flood of glory on the Anglo-Saxon name and fame.


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