An excellent and informative account of the travels and successes of David Thompson, 'one of the most remarkable men in Canadian history'. It is amazing that he was able to create a detailed and very accurate map of 1.2 million square miles of uncharted Indian territory. To the Indians he was Koo Koo Sint, the Man who Looked at Stars.
A few of the many interesting facts: 1. He begins at the age of 16 when there were no maps further than Winnipeg. 2. Once with the North West Company, he became committed to exploration, discovery and his surveying. 3. On one occasion he traveled 4,500 miles in 6 months and transported 5,000 pounds of furs. 4. His completed map was six feet nine inches tall and ten feet four inches wide and made of twenty five sheets of paper glued together. It was filled with engaging detail with such things as the company's seventy-eight trading posts accurately located, all major waterways, dozens of secondary streams and the direction in which the rivers flowed.
The author shows that David Thompson "was a foundational figure in the creation of the country, and his map was one of the greatest single achievements of the nineteenth century".
Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in early Canadian history, the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company.
A fine book with good descriptions of Thompson's activities but with one critical caveat; there are no useful maps in this book about geography!
What maps are contained in the book and on the fly-leafs are all too small to read. This makes useful interpretation of the text nigh on impossible, because modern maps do not have the HBC and NWC place names on them. Very frustrating and totally unprofessional. Bad show.
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