• Share:
  • Download/Print:
  • PDF
Search

David Thompson papers, 1806-1845

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Thompson, David, 1770-1857.
Title
David Thompson papers
Dates
1806-1845 (inclusive)
Quantity
.5 cubic feet (1 document case, 1 reel microfilm)
Collection Number
Mss 998
Summary
Photostat copies and microfilm of the journals, observations, Indian vocabularies, notes, and other writings of David Thompson, a British explorer of northwestern North America.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

English explorer, trader, and geographer David Thompson (1770-1857) was born in London and educated at the Grey Coat School, Christ's Hospital School, and at Oxford University. While still in his teens he came to Canada as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company, but left in 1797 to become a partner in the North West Company. His extensive explorations of western Canada included the discovery of the source of the Columbia River in 1807, and he surveyed the entire river in 1811. He established trading posts throughout the Pacific north west, including ones on the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, and Spokane Rivers. In his later years he created a comprehensive map of the northern United States and Canada, based on the surveys he and others had completed. From 1816 to 1826 he headed the British commission that established the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. His old age was marred by poverty, and his work was largely forgotten until the posthumous publication of his writings in the early 1900s.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains Photostat copies and microfilm of selections from Thompson's journals, notebooks, and other writings. Included are his journals, 1806-1812; observations, 1807-1809; courses and distances, 1808-1812; "Saleesh and Kullyspele [sic] vocabulary"; Mandan vocabulary; and report of experiences in the west, written in 1845. The microfilm contains Thompson's journal, 1807; account of trade of the North West Company, 1809; and remarks on the country west of the Rocky Mountains, 1813.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

David Thompson papers, Mss998, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  Journals, 1806-1812Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
1
1806 December 13-1807 July 26
2
1807 July 24-1808 February 8
3
1808 February 4-April 10
4
1808 April 20-June 8
5
1808 August 4-1809 September 26
6
1809 September 27-1810 July 22
7
"Journey from the Boggy Hole in the Saskachewan [sic] to the Athabasca River"
1810 October 29-1811 June 3
8
Journal and notes on furs, canoes, Indian
1811 July 3-1812 April 28
9
Journal, navigation of Athabasca River
1812 April 29-June 26

Series B:  Observations and other writings, 1807-1845Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
10
Courses and distances
1807; 1808 April 20-May 7
11
Courses and distances on the Columbia River
circa 1808-1812
12
Courses and distances
1810; 1812
13
Courses and distances, Columbia River
1811 April 17-May 9
14
Courses and distances
1811 July 3-September 22
15
Observations
1807-1809
16
Mandan vocabulary
undated
17
Salish and Kalispel vocabulary
undated
18
"Report on experiences in the west" with some unidentified sheets
1812; 1845

Series C:  Microfilmed records, 1807-1813Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
item
1
Journal
1807 May 10-September 22
2
Account of trade of North West Company
1809
3
Remarks on the country west of the Rockies
1813