Why Is David Thompson Called The Great Land Geographer

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David Thompson was a brave explorer, astronomer, historian, mapmaker, but most of all the original trailblazer.He is known as the greatest land geographer of all time, but has little recognition. His expedition during the fur trade took him from Hudson's Bay to the pacific ocean. During his life,he travelled over 90,000km and mapped 3.9 million kilometers squared.He used various means to cover this journey which included canoe and map Over the 28 years in the fur trade business he took many notes. His notes were contained in 84 journals with topics such as: the lives of the aboriginal peoples, fur trades, the landscape and, the wildlife .These would provide an invaluable resource for historians for early history of First Nations People.. …show more content…

His father died when he was at a young age. At the age of seven, David was sent to a charity school for boys and for seven years he shined in the areas of math and navigation. This gave him a solid start for his future career in the area of land surveyor. In 1784 the Hudson’s bay company was looking for young people to cross the Atlantic ocean to North America and work in the fur trade. When David was fourteen, he climbed on the ship Prince Rupert and arrived at Hudson’s Bay. He would never again return to england. During his duties besides clerical work, David learned to hunt, use snowshoes and other skills for survival.He was given the job of writing part of a manuscript by the post’s chief. The project captured David’s interest in exploring the land. After a year David was sent to York Factory on the shore of Hudson's Bay (present day Manitoba). He travelled to the North Saskatchewan river and back again.This was his first experience with the great …show more content…

When returning from a hunting trip ,David fell down an embankment 1.5 km from Manchester house which severely broke his leg. Due to complications, David was not expected to survive. His ankle was swollen for months and he would not be able to resume normal activities for months after that. Thompson was sent to Saskatchewan to recover. In October of 1789 he was introduced to Philip Turnor who was Hudson’s Bay Company’s official surveyor .Phillip was sent to train new apprentices for a trade expedition to Athabasca County. Davids life took a lucky turn. Because of the injury sustained earlier, David was not allowed to do work that would require the use of his leg .Instead,Turnor agreed to allow David to join his apprenticeship classes. David was taught astronomy, surveying, mapping and how to use almanacs. David excelled in this area and HBC ended up offering him a contract to make new trade routes for trading with Aboriginal Peoples out West. He would also create new trading posts,, do land surveys and make maps. David finally got the adventure he had dreamed about. David requested surveying instruments such as a brass sextant, compass, watch, almanacs and notebooks to record calculations instead of the usual clothing given to the people in his

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