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Encyclopedia > Simon Fraser (explorer)
An undated drawing of Simon Fraser
An undated drawing of Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser (1776–18 August 1862) was a fur trader and an explorer who charted much of what is now the Canadian province of British Columbia. Fraser was employed by the Montreal-based North West Company and by 1805 had been put in charge of all the company's operations west of the Rocky Mountains. He was responsible for building that area's first trading posts, and in 1808 he explored what is now known as the Fraser River, which bears his name. Simon Fraser's exploratory efforts were partly responsible for Canada's boundary later being established at the 49th parallel (after the War of 1812), since he as a British subject was the first European to establish permanent settlements in the area. Image File history File links Simon_Fraser2. ... August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The fur trade was a huge part in the early economic development of North America. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... Nickname: Motto: Concordia Salus (in unity, prosperity) Coordinates: Country Canada Province Quebec Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1][2][3]  - City 365. ... Today, the North West Company is a grocery vendor in remote communities across northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland. ... The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America. ... Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... The 49th parallel of north latitude forms part of the International Boundary between Canada and the United States from Manitoba to British Columbia on the Canadian side and from Minnesota to Washington on the U.S. side. ... Combatants United States Great Britain Canada Bermuda Eastern Woodland Indians Commanders James Madison Henry Dearborn Jacob Brown Winfield Scott Andrew Jackson George Prevost Isaac Brock† Tecumseh† Strength •U.S. Regular Army: 35,800 •Rangers: 3,049 •Militia: 458,463* •US Navy & US Marines: (at start of war): •Frigates:6 •Other... This article is about the continent. ...

Contents

Early life in the fur trade

The son of Scottish Highlanders from Culbokie, Simon Fraser was born at Mapletown near Bennington, Vermont during the American Revolutionary War, the eighth and youngest child in the family. Fraser's father, after whom he was named, was a British army captain who was taken as a prisoner of war by the American forces at Saratoga and who died in custody. After the war ended, Fraser's mother moved the family to Canada. With the assistance of Fraser's uncle, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, the family settled near present-day Cadillac, Quebec. At the age of 14, Fraser moved to Montreal and, after receiving some additional schooling, was apprenticed to the North West Company two years later. Two of Fraser’s uncles were active in the fur trade, which was a major part of the commercial life of Montreal at the time, and the Frasers were related to Simon McTavish, a leading figure in the North West Company. Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II... The Scottish Highlands are the mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. ... Culbokie (Cùil Bhaicidh in Gaelic) is a small village in Ross and Cromarty, Highland, Scotland, located on the north side of the Black Isle. ... Bennington, Vermont The Bennington Battle Monument. ... Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  Ranked {{{AreaRank}}}  - Total {{{TotalAreaUS}}} sq mi ({{{TotalArea}}} km²)  - Width 80 miles (130 km)  - Length 160 miles (260 km)  - % water 3. ... Combatants American Revolutionaries French Monarchy Spanish Empire Dutch Republic Oneida and Tuscarora tribes Polish volunteers Prussian volunteers Kingdom of Great Britain Iroquois Confederacy Hessian mercenaries Loyalists Commanders George Washington Nathanael Greene Gilbert de La Fayette Comte de Rochambeau Bernardo de Gálvez Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Sir... The Saratoga campaign was a series of battles in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War for control of the Hudson River. ... Postdlf 06:03, 2 May 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Official languages French Government - Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault - Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 75 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area Ranked 2nd - Total 1,542,056 km² - Water... Today, the North West Company is a grocery vendor in remote communities across northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland. ... Simon McTavish (born c. ...


Between 1792 and 1805, it would appear that Fraser spent most of his time working in the company's Athabasca Department. While little is known of his activities during this time, Fraser seems to have done well, as he was made a full partner of the company in 1801 at the relatively young age of 25. Athabasca is the name of a Native American tribe, see at Canada: Mount Athabasca (3,491 metres/11,454 feet) Lake Athabasca Athabasca River Athabascaville, Quebec Athabasca, Alberta ( See also: [1] ) Athabasca University Athabasca University Students Union Athabasca (electoral district) Athabasca Landing ( See also: [2] ) Athabasca Tar Sands - an oil...


Exploration west of the Rockies

In 1789, the North West Company had commissioned Alexander Mackenzie to find a navigable river route to the Pacific Ocean. The route he discovered in 1793 — ascending the West Road River and descending the Bella Coola River — opened up new sources of fur but proved to be too difficult to be practicable as a trading route to the Pacific. Fraser was thus given responsibility for extending operations to the country west of the Rockies in 1805. Mackenzie’s expeditions had been primarily reconnaissance trips, while Fraser’s assignment, by contrast, reflected a definite decision to build trading posts and take possession of the country, as well as to explore travel routes. In this sense Fraser was responsible for the establishment of permanent European settlement in what is now British Columbia. Alexander MacKenzie painted by Thomas Lawrence (c. ... The West Road or Blackwater River is a major tributary of the Fraser River, flowing generally north-eastward from the Ilgachuz Range and across the Fraser Plateau in the Chilcotin and Cariboo regions of central British Columbia, Canada. ... The Bella Coola River is a major river on the Pacific slope of the Coast Mountains in southern British Columbia. ...


Ascending the Peace River and establishing posts

In the autumn of 1805, Fraser began ascending the Peace River, establishing the trading post of Rocky Mountain Portage House (present day Hudson's Hope) just east of the Peace River Canyon of the Rocky Mountains. That winter Fraser and his crew pushed through the mountains and ascended the Parsnip and Pack Rivers, establishing Trout Lake Fort (later renamed Fort McLeod) at present-day McLeod Lake. This was the first permanent European settlement west of the Rockies in present-day Canada. The name given by Fraser to this territory was New Caledonia, given in honour of his ancestral homeland of Scotland. Further explorations by Fraser's assistant James McDougall resulted in the discovery of Carrier Lake, now known as Stuart Lake. In the heart of territory inhabited by the aboriginal Carrier or Dakelh nation, this area proved to be a lucrative locale for fur trading, so a post — Fort St. James — was built on its shore in 1806. From here, Fraser sent another assistant John Stuart west to Fraser Lake. Later the two men would build another post there which is now known as Fort Fraser. The Peace River (French: rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canada that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows through northern Alberta. ... Hudsons Hope is a small town in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, in the Peace River Rigional District. ... The Parsnip River is a 240 km long river in central British Columbia, Canada. ... McLeod Lake is a lake and a community located on Highway 97 in Northeast British Columbia, 88 miles (140 km) north of Prince George. ... James McDougall was a nineteenth century fur trader and explorer, who is remembered for his participation in opening up present-day British Columbia, Canada to European settlement as part of a North West Company expedition to the region, led by Simon Fraser. ... Stuart Lake is situated 60 km north of Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada. ... The Dakelh (pronounced Ka-kelh) or Carrier are the indigenous people of a large portion of the central interior of British Columbia. ... Fort St. ... John Stuart was a nineteenth century Canadian fur trader and explorer, employed by the North West Company. ... Fraser Lake is a village in northern British Columbia between Burns Lake and Vanderhoof. ... Fort Fraser is a community of about 1000 people, located near the geographical centre of British Columbia, Canada, 44 km west of Vanderhoof on The Yellowhead Highway. ...


Delays and the founding of Fort George (Prince George)

Fraser had found out from the aboriginal people that the Fraser River, the route by which Mackenzie had ascended the West Road River, could be reached by descending the Stuart River, which drained Stuart Lake, and then descending the Nechako River to its confluence with the Fraser. It had been Fraser's plan to navigate the length of the river which now bears his name. Fraser and others believed that this was, in fact, the Columbia River, the mouth of which had been explored in 1792 by Robert Gray. The West Road or Blackwater River is a major tributary of the Fraser River, flowing generally north-eastward from the Ilgachuz Range and across the Fraser Plateau in the Chilcotin and Cariboo regions of central British Columbia, Canada. ... The Stuart River is a river in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. ... The Nechako River is one of the main tributaries of the Fraser River, although most of its flow has been diverted through the Coast Mountains to the Kemano generating station at sea level on the Gardner Canal, 858m below the reservoirs intakes, which supplies power to the aluminum smelter... The Columbia River (French: fleuve Columbia) is a river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. ... Robert Gray (May 10, 1755 – July, 1806) was an American merchant sea-captain and explorer. ...


Unfortunately, Fraser's plan to begin the journey in 1806 had to be abandoned due to a lack of men and supplies as well as the occurrence of a local famine. Fraser would not be resupplied until the autumn of 1807, meaning that his journey could not be undertaken until the following spring. In the interval Fraser contented himself with a journey to the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. There he established a new post named Fort George (now known as Prince George), which would become the starting point for his trip downstream. These cutbanks on the Nechako River are Prince Georges signature natural landmark. ...


Descent of the Fraser River

A party of twenty-four left Fort George in four canoes on May 28, 1808. From the outset, the aboriginal inhabitants warned Fraser that the river below would be all but impossible to pass. Worse, even the portages were extremely difficult, and Fraser's crews frequently ran dangerous rapids to avoid even more dangerous or laborious portages. Thirteen days after setting out, Fraser abandoned his canoes above present day Lillooet, and his party continued their journey on foot, occasionally borrowing canoes from the aboriginal communities they encountered on the way. May 28 is the 148th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (149th in leap years). ... 1808 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ...


Fraser proved adept at establishing friendly relations with the tribes he met, being careful to have them send word to tribes downstream of his impending arrival and good intentions. For the most part, this tactic was effective, but Fraser encountered a hostile reception by the Musqueam people as he approached the lower reaches of the river at present day Vancouver. Their hostile pursuit of Fraser and his men meant that Fraser was not able to get more than a glimpse of the Strait of Georgia. A dispute with the neighbouring Kwantlen people led to a pursuit of Fraser and his men that was only broken off near present day Hope. The journey culminated in further disappointment as Fraser discovered from his readings that the river he had just navigated was not, in fact, the Columbia. The descent had taken Fraser and his crew thirty-six days. (pronounced MUSS-quee-um) also spelled as XmuzkIum pronounced the same. ... Vancouver (pronounced: ) is a city in south-western British Columbia, Canada. ... Strait of Georgia at sunset The Strait of Georgia (also known as Georgia Strait and the Gulf of Georgia) is a 240 km (150 mi)-long strait between Vancouver Island (as well as its nearby Gulf Islands) and the mainland Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada. ... The front entrance to the Richmond Campus of Kwantlen University College Kwantlen University College (sometimes abbreviated as KUC or simply Kwantlen) is a higher-education institution in British Columbia. ... Hope ( ) is a community of approximately 7,000 people located at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. ...


Returning to Fort George proved to be an even more perilous exercise, as the hostility Fraser and his crew encountered from the aboriginal communities near the mouth of the river spread upstream. The ongoing hostility and threats to the lives of the Europeans resulted in a near mutiny by Fraser's crew, who wanted to escape overland. Quelling the revolt, Fraser and his men continued north upstream from present-day Yale, arriving in Fort George on August 6, 1808. The journey upstream took thirty-seven days. In total it took Fraser and his crew two-and-a-half months to descend from Fort George to Musqueam and back. Mutiny is the act of conspiring to disobey an order that a group of similarly-situated individuals (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) is legally obliged to obey. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... 1808 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Fraser and the Battle of Seven Oaks

Fraser was just thirty-two years old when he completed the establishment of a permanent European settlement in New Caledonia through the epic journey to the mouth of the river that would one day bear his name. He would go on to spend another eleven years actively engaged in the North West Company's fur trade.


Fraser left New Caledonia in 1809 and was reassigned to the Athabasca Department, where he remained until 1814. For much of this time he was in charge of the Mackenzie River District. After this he was assigned to the Red River Valley area, where he was caught up in the conflict between the North West Company and Thomas Douglas, Lord Selkirk, a controlling shareholder of the Hudson's Bay Company who had established the Red River Colony. The conflict culminated in the Battle of Seven Oaks in June 1816, resulting in the death of the colony's governor, Robert Semple, and nineteen others. Though not involved in the attack, Fraser was one of the partners arrested by Lord Selkirk at Fort William. He was taken in September to Montreal where he was promptly released on bail. Fraser was back at Fort William in 1817 when the North West Company regained possession of the post, but this was evidently his last appearance in the fur trade. The following year, Fraser and five other partners were acquitted of all charges related to the incident in the colony. Approximate extent of the Mackenzie River watershed The Mackenzie River (French: Fleuve Mackenzie) originates in Great Slave Lake, in the Northwest Territories, and flows north into the Arctic Ocean. ... The Red River Valley is a region in central North America that is drained by the Red River of the North. ... See: Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, founder of the Red River Colony Tommy Douglas, premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the NDP This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Hudsons Bay Company (HBC; Compagnie de la Baie dHudson in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world. ... The Red River Colony (or Selkirk Settlement) was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on 300,000 km² of land granted to him by the Hudsons Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. ... The Battle of Seven Oaks (known to the Métis as la Victoire de la Grenouillière, or the Victory of Frog Plain) took place on June 19th 1816 during the long dispute between the Hudsons Bay Company and the North West Company, rival fur-trading companies in western... Robert Semple, born 26 February 1777 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was Governor of the Hudsons Bay Company from 1815 until his death June 19, 1816 at the Battle of Seven Oaks. ... Fort William was a city in Northern Ontario, located on the Kaministiquia River, at its entrance to Lake Superior. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ...


Later life

In 1818, it appears that Fraser retired from the fur trade. He settled on land near present day Cornwall, Ontario and married in 1820. He spent the remainder of his life pursuing various enterprises, none with much success. He served as captain of the 1st Regiment of the Stormont Militia during the Rebellions of 1837. Five sons and three daughters grew to maturity. Fraser was one of the last surviving partners of the North West Company when he died on August 18, 1862. His wife died the next day, and they were buried in a single grave in the Roman Catholic cemetery at St. Andrew's. Cornwall. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman - Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 106 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area Ranked 4th... The Rebellions of 1837 were a pair of Canadian armed uprisings that occurred in 1837 and 1838 in response to frustrations in political reform and ethnic conflict. ... August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...


A vivid and remarkable account of Fraser's explorations can be found in his published journals: W. Kaye Lamb, The Letters and Journals of Simon Fraser, 1806-1808. Toronto, The MacMillan Company of Canada Limited, 1960.


List of British Columbia communities founded by Fraser

Hudsons Hope is a small town in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, in the Peace River Rigional District. ... McLeod Lake is a lake and a community located on Highway 97 in Northeast British Columbia, 88 miles (140 km) north of Prince George. ... Fort St. ... Fort Fraser is a community of about 1000 people, located near the geographical centre of British Columbia, Canada, 44 km west of Vanderhoof on The Yellowhead Highway. ... These cutbanks on the Nechako River are Prince Georges signature natural landmark. ...

List of placenames and institutions named for Fraser

Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... David Thompson (April 30, 1770 – February 10, 1857), was an English-Canadian map-maker and explorer, known to native peoples as the Stargazer. He was born in London to Welsh parents, and died in Montreal (now Quebec, then Canada East in the Province of Canada). ... Fraser Lake is a village in northern British Columbia between Burns Lake and Vanderhoof. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... Fort Fraser is a community of about 1000 people, located near the geographical centre of British Columbia, Canada, 44 km west of Vanderhoof on The Yellowhead Highway. ... Simon Fraser University (SFU) is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, part of the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia. ... Coordinates: Country  Canada Province  British Columbia District Greater Vancouver Regional District Established 1892 (municipality status) – 1992 (city status) Government  - Mayor Derek Corrigan  - MPs Peter Julian (NDP), Bill Siksay (NDP)  - MLAs Raj Chouhan, Richard T. Lee, John Nuraney, Harry Bloy Area  - City 89. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... There were several people named Prince George, and places named after them: George, Prince of Wales Prince George, Duke of Kent Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Prince George of Denmark Prince George of Yugoslavia Prince George I, Duke of Westrogothia Prince George (Blackadder character) Prince George, British Columbia Prince George... British Columbia provincial highway 97 is the longest continuously-numbered route in the province, going for 2,081 km all the way from the Canada/U.S. border in the south to the British Columbia/Yukon border in the north. ... There are many roads in the southwestern part of British Columbia that are designated as British Columbia provincial highway 1A. These roads are sections of the original 1941 route of Highway 1 before its various re_alignments, and are used today as service routes and frontage roads. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Simon Fraser (explorer) Summary (2159 words)
Simon Fraser (1776-1862) was a Canadian explorer and fur trader and the first man to follow the Fraser River from its source in the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Simon Fraser was born at Bennington, N.Y., the son of Capt. Simon Fraser.
Simon Fraser's exploratory efforts were partly responsible for Canada's boundary later being established at the 49th parallel (after the War of 1812), since he as a British subject was the first European to establish permanent settlements in the area.
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