Narrative on the sources of the Columbia
||Narrative on the sources of the Columbia
(former reference: MSS 62)
||Thompson, David, 1770-1857, explorer and geographer
|Extent and Medium
||1 volume; paper; Manuscript
||Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library
|Content and context|
David Thompson (1770-1857) was born at Westminster, London, on 30 April 1770, and educated at Grey Coat School, Westminster. He was apprenticed to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1784, and was employed as a clerk at Hudson Bay and in the interior. He joined the North West Company in 1797, becoming a partner, and worked in the fur trade until 1812. During this period, Thompson undertook exploratory expeditions, during which he mapped the terrain and became the first white man to descend the Columbia River from its source to its mouth. He was engaged on surveying the boundary between Canada and the United States from 1816 to 1826, and subsequently worked on other surveys. He died at Longueuil, near Montreal, on 10 February 1857.
'Narrative of the establishment on the sources of the Columbia, addressed to Mr Duncan McGillivray, Director of the N.W. Coy & the gentlemen of Upper Fort des Prairies 1807', 32 pages: (p. 1) title; (p. 2) blank; (pp. 3-29) narrative; (pp. 30-32) blank. The work is headed on p. 3, 'Narrative of the expedition to the Kootanai & Flat Bow Indian Countries, on the sources of the Columbia River, Pacific Ocean by D. Thompson on behalf of the N.W. Company 1807', signed D. Thompson.
The provenance of the collection is not known.
Access and Use|
Please cite as Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library, Narrative on the sources of the Columbia, RCMS 249
The narrative was published as 'The discovery of the source of the Columbia River' in 'The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society', vol. 26 (1925), pp. 28-49, with an introduction by T.C. Elliott, pp. 23-28.
The R.C.S. Manuscripts Collection includes Thompson's 'Remarks on the countries westward of the Rocky Mountains', RCMS 250.
Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 135. Indexed
This collection level description was created by RAS. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on David Thompson in W. Stewart Wallace, ed., 'The Macmillan dictionary of Canadian biography', 4th edition (Toronto, 1978), pp. 827-828.
|North and Central America|
|Thompson, David (1770-1857) explorer and geographer|
|No further on-line information.|