Thompson, David, 1770-1857

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English explorer, trader, and geographer David Thompson (1770-1857) was born in London and educated at the Grey Coat School, Christ's Hospital School, and at Oxford University.

From the guide to the David Thompson sketches of mountains in the Pacific Northwest, circa 1800-1857, (Oregon Historical Society Research Library)

English explorer, trader, and geographer David Thompson (1770-1857) was born in London and educated at the Grey Coat School, Christ's Hospital School, and at Oxford University. While still in his teens he came to Canada as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company, but left in 1797 to become a partner in the North West Company. His extensive explorations of western Canada included the discovery of the source of the Columbia River in 1807, and he surveyed the entire river in 1811. He established trading posts throughout the Pacific north west, including ones on the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, and Spokane Rivers. In his later years he created a comprehensive map of the northern United States and Canada, based on the surveys he and others had completed. From 1816 to 1826 he headed the British commission that established the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. His old age was marred by poverty, and his work was largely forgotten until the posthumous publication of his writings in the early 1900s.

From the guide to the David Thompson papers, 1806-1845, (Oregon Historical Society)

David Thompson, born in London, England, in 1770, was one of North America's greatest explorers, surveyors and mapmakers, as well as one of the finest travel writers of his era. In 1794, he was appointed as a surveyor for the Hudson's Bay Compay. He broke with the HBC and joined the North West Company as a surveyor in 1797. From 1792 to 1812, he mapped most of the country west of Hudson Bay and Lake Superior, across the Rocky Mountains to the source of the Columbia River, and the length of the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. He died in 1857.

From the description of David Thompson Papers [manuscript]. 1784-1914. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 225565592

English explorer, trader, and geographer David Thompson (1770-1857) was born in London and educated at the Grey Coat School, Christ's Hospital School, and at Oxford University. While still in his teens he came to Canada as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company, but left in 1797 to become a partner in the North West Company. His extensive explorations of western Canada included the discovery of the source of the Columbia River in 1807, and he surveyed the entire river in 1811. He established trading posts throughout the Pacific northwest, including ones on the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, and Spokane Rivers. In his later years he created a comprehensive map of the northern United States and Canada, based on the surveys he and others had completed. From 1816 to 1826 he headed the British commission that established the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. His old age was marred by poverty, and his work was largely forgotten until the posthumous publication of his writings in the early 1900s.

From the description of David Thompson papers, 1806-1845. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 68348395

English explorer, trader, and geographer David Thompson (1770-1857) was born in London and educated at the Grey Coat School, Christ's Hospital School, and at Oxford University.

While still in his teens he came to Canada as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company, but left in 1797 to become a partner in the North West Company. His extensive explorations of western Canada included the discovery of the source of the Columbia River in 1807, and he surveyed the entire river in 1811. He established trading posts throughout the Pacific northwest, including ones on the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, and Spokane Rivers. In his later years he created a comprehensive map of the northern United States and Canada, based on the surveys he and others had completed. From 1816 to 1826 he headed the British commission that established the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. His old age was marred by poverty, and his work was largely forgotten until the posthumous publication of his writings in the early 1900s.

From the description of David Thompson sketches of mountains in the Pacific Northwest [manuscript], circa 1800-1857. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 757825344

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Robert N. Cheetham Papers, 1942-1968 Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
creatorOf Porter, Peter B. (Peter Buell), 1773-1844. Letters recieved, 1827 July 31-1839 July 19. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn McDonald, Duncan. Papers, 1923-1925. Idaho State Archives, Idaho State Historical Society
referencedIn Thompson Falls play script, undated. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Libra, Flossie. Hudson's Bay--Kalispel [sic] Trail / by Flossie Libra. Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State
creatorOf David Thompson papers, 1806-1845 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Tyrrell, Joseph Burr, 1858-1957. The re-discovery of David Thompson / by J.B. Tyrrell. Eastern Washington University, JFK Library
creatorOf Thompson, David, 1770-1857,. David Thompson sketches of mountains in the Pacific Northwest [manuscript], circa 1800-1857. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Thompson, David, 1770-1857. David Thompson reports on his explorations in the Pacific Northwest, 1807,1813. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Thompson, David, 1770-1857. David Thompson Papers [manuscript]. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
creatorOf Barclay, Thomas, 1753-1830. Thomas Barclay collection, 1731-1893. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Elliott, T. C. (Thompson Coit), 1862-1943. T.C. Elliott papers, 1903-1937. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Van Arsdol, Ted. You are there. Seattle Public Library, Central Library
referencedIn Cheetham, Robert N. Papers, 1864-1968. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn M. Catherine White Papers, 1920-1952 Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf North West Company. Company records, 1791-1811. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Space, Ralph S. David Thompson in Montana: given at the Sesquicentennial Celebration of David Thompson at Sandpoint in August, 1959 : typescript / by Ralph S. Space. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Thompson Coit Elliott Papers, 1903-1937 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Elliott, T. C. (Thompson Coit), 1862-1943. Historical papers and addresses by T. C. Elliott, Walla, Walla, Washington. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
creatorOf Gérin-Lajoie, Marie, 1890-1971,. Fur trade documents and related papers, 1682-1967. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Thompson, David, 1770-1857. David Thompson papers, 1806-1845. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Thompson, David, 1770-1857. David Thompson papers, 1797-1843. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf David Thompson sketches of mountains in the Pacific Northwest, circa 1800-1857 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Barclay, Thomas, 1753-1830. person
associatedWith Cheetham, Robert N. person
associatedWith Elliott, T. C. (Thompson Coit), 1862-1943. person
associatedWith Gérin-Lajoie, Marie, 1890-1971, person
associatedWith Hudson's Bay Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Libra, Flossie. person
associatedWith McDonald, Duncan. person
associatedWith McDonald, Finan. person
associatedWith Northwest Company. corporateBody
associatedWith North West Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Porter, Peter B. (Peter Buell), 1773-1844. person
associatedWith Space, Ralph S. person
associatedWith Thompson, David, family
associatedWith Tyrrell, Joseph Burr, 1858-1957. person
associatedWith Van Arsdol, Ted. person
associatedWith White, M. Catherine, 1891-1986 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Flathead Lake (Mont.)
Northwest, Pacific
Minnesota
Northwest, Canadian
Northwest, Canadian
Grand Portage (Minn.)
Canada
United States
Northwest, Pacific
Columbia River
Flathead Lake (Mont.)
Red River of the North
Rocky Mountains
Northwest, Pacific
Rocky Mountains
Northwest, Pacific
Columbia River
Columbia River
Columbia River
Columbia River
Northwest, Canadian
Northwest, Canadian
North Dakota
Northwest, Pacific
Northwest, Pacific
Missouri River Valley
Ontario
Northwest, Canadian
Subject
Indians of North America
Kootenai Indians
Mandan Indians
Salish Indians
Expeditions and Adventure
Fur trade--Northwest, Canadian--History
Fur trade--Northwest, Pacific--History
Artists--19th century
Native Americans
British Colmubia
Kalispel Indians
Fur trade--History
Indians of North America--Languages--Glossaries, vocabularies, etc
Fur trade
Oregon
Washington (State)
Occupation
Surveyors--Canada
Artists
Function

Person

Birth 1770-04-30

Death 1857-02-10

Britons

English

Information

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