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Memorable Manitobans: David Thompson (1770-1857)

Explorer and fur trader.

He was educated at Grey Coat Hospital in London, and he joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1784. He spent his first year at Fort Churchill, then moved inland for several years. In 1790 he was posted to York Factory, and in 1792 was sent west to the Athabasca country. He joined the North West Company in 1797 and spent the next 15 years exploring and mapping in Western Canada, mainly west of the Rocky Mountains. He retired in 1814 and bought a farm in Williamston, Upper Canada. Later he was employed by the boundary commission working on the border with the United States, and in the 1830s he worked on the surveys in the Eastern Townships for the British American Land Company. In his last years he wrote about his travels, and his account was published as David Thompson’s Narrative, edited by J. B. Tyrrell (1916).

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Elmwood High School / David Thompson School (505 Chalmers Avenue, Winnipeg)

David Thompson: Fur Trader, Explorer, Geographer by J. K. Smith (1971).

David Thompson, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VIII, 878-84.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 October 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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