Did you know that David Thompson was born today in 1770? He was a British-Canadian explorer and cartographer (map maker). In 1784 he travelled to North America as an indentured servant. Eventually he worked as a clerk, fur trader, surveyor, and explorer. David Thompson was assigned the task of finding and establishing a new trading route across northern North America to the Pacific Ocean. He explored the area near the Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, and Columbia River Basin. During his career, David Thompson travelled over 56,000 miles across North America and mapped 1.9 million square miles of land. Some of his maps were so accurate, that they were still used 200 years later.
We hope that you find ways to explore your environment! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
David Thompson was also known to Native Americans as “Koo-Koo-Sint” or the Stargazer. He is also known as the “greatest land geographer and cartographer the world has produced.”
When he was 14, David Thompson travelled to North America as an indentured servant of the Hudson Bay Company. He worked for the company for 7 years as an indentured servant. When he finished his apprenticeship, he asked for a set of surveying equipment instead of the traditional gift of fine clothing. He worked with the Hudson Bay Company until 1797, when he left in protest of the company’s policy of promoting alcohol use among the indigenous people.
After leaving the Hudson Bay Company, David Thompson walked 80 miles to join the North West Company.
David Thompson was the first European to travel down and explore the entire length of the Columbia River.
After he retired from surveying, David Thompson’s encountered financial misfortune. He lost his sight before he could finish his manuscript chronicling his life and explorations. He was buried in an unmarked grave. About 70 years later, his grave was identified and a tombstone was placed to mark his resting place.
David Thompson’s manuscripts and field notebooks were published in 1916.
Some of David Thompson’s maps are stored in the Archives of Ontario, Canada.
There are many monuments, rivers, and towns named in David Thompson’s honor. Many locations from his life are now Historical Sites.