Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the

  • Hardcover
  • 309 pages
  • Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West
  • DArcy Jenish
  • English
  • 08 January 2015
  • 9780803226005

10 thoughts on “Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

  1. Aaron Aaron says:

    It is odd that rather than grappling throughout the book with what is apparently a modern historical consensus that is critical of Thompson the author largely relegates his counterargument to a brief afterword giving over the narrative to a day by day week by week structure that seems to reflect the primary source material being Thompson’s own journals What is gained by that? Also in a book largely about the preparation of an improbably precise map of a vast territory and a set of journals of “Voyages” the Kindle edition should include actually legible archival images

  2. Gordon Gordon says:

    If you have ever canoed for a few days or ever trekked in the wilderness with a pack on your back you will be astounded by the extraordinary physical and intellectual energy of this English born Canadian explorer From 1784 to 1812 he traveled many tens of thousands of miles between Montreal and the mouth of the Columbia River and mapped much of the region well over one million suare miles Perhaps the single most impressive physical feat of his decades long career as a fur trader and surveyor was his crossing of the Canadian Rockies in the depths of winter to discover the upper reaches of the Columbia River It's a daunting enough landscape even in summer How he ever crossed in winter dragging heavy supplies and trade goods over high passes in deep snow I can hardly imagine For nearly 30 years he worked for the Hudson's Bay Company and the North west Company the two great fur trading companies of the era in the northern part of North America At the age of 14 he was transplanted from London to the bleak treeless windswept shores of Hudson's Bay there to serve out his seven years apprenticeship at a fur trading post He somehow survived the wrenching transition avoided hungry polar bears learned French and at least a couple of Indian languages and mastered the business of fur trading as well as the art of surveying The maps he created in the early 19th century were so accurate that they were still in use at the end of the century despite the immensely greater resources available to the government surveyors who followed him He also after he retired as a fur trader worked as the chief surveyor for the British as part of the US British boundary commission that defined much of the border of Canada and the US after the War of 1812 He was one of the greatest map makers of his timeHe was also a man of interesting character working in a very rough wilderness well beyond the bounds of urban civilization or any kind of government He was very religious He married an Indian woman when he was 29 and she was 13 had 10 children with her and stayed with her until he died at the age of 80 despite the prejudices of pioneer society He opposed the alcohol trade that was destroying so many Indian tribes and refused to deal in it He worked extraordinarily hard away from his family for a year or at a time Even in his old age he continued working writing his several hundred pages long Narrative of his travels and explorations which was only published decades after his deathThe author of this biography D'Arcy Jenish does an excellent job of weaving all this material together in a way that is always interesting and often compelling Ironically if I have one complaint it is this a book about a map maker should have a lot maps in it The only way to follow Thompson's progress is to sit with the book in hand and an atlas open in your lap This is a pretty major failing for the book but if you an atlas with a decently detailed map of the Canadian west and of the US north west you will do fine

  3. Nathan Nathan says:

    This is the definitive biography of David Thompson the famous astronomer and surveyor for the Hudson's Bay and North West Companies during the late 1700s and early 1800s His legacy artfully relived within Epic Wanderer is filled with incredible feats of exploration adventure and endurance At age 14 as an orphan he was sent to Canada to work for the Hudson's Bay Company For the next 35 years he did the followingExplored tens of thousands of kilometers of unforgiving Canadian wilderness for months at a time to transport furs open trading posts and discover new routes of passage;Surveyed unknown lakes rivers mountains and plains living almost entirely off the land;Traveled and traded with many different Aboriginal Canadians learning their languages politics and customs;Mastered astronomy and geolocation essentially by teaching himself using the sun and the stars for geographic coordination and guidance;Recording nearly all of his travels and coordinates in journals eventually using them to create the most detailed maps of the Canadian Northwest the world had ever seenDavid Thompson is widely considered the greatest land geographer that ever lived Yet for all his accomplishments he died as an old man living in poverty having been repeatedly denied publication of his maps and memoirs and having fallen victim to accumulating debts His story was finally published in 1916 69 years following his death Only then did the world finally come to know the incredible story of his life and accomplishments

  4. Amy Dale Amy Dale says:

    I seem to have hit a streak of books I just can't finish I finally skimmed for uite awhile before I just gave upDavid Thompson passed through my area and I've always wanted to know about him unfortunately this book wasn't the bio for me The writing is certainly easy it's not scholarly or dry But it's so easy that it's Entirely lacking any details whatsoever I feel like it was written for 10 yr oldsnot adults When I readI see a movie in my headI didn't see anything at all when reading thisthere simply was nothing given to see It's like He and his men travelled 49 miles to the next post and from there did a portage to the next river Really? Bald facts Was it prettywooded? Was there mosuitoes or bogs or deadfall to climb over? Were they cold or sweating? Hungry? Rapids? What emotions and thoughts did David have as he saw these things? I certainly don't know from reading this The main men and his wife are not describedthey are simply nameswe don't know hair color or if they had one eyeI think I'll read Thompson's diariesthey might be vivid than this

  5. John Geary John Geary says:

    A most excellent book detailing the entirety of the life of the man responsible for creating the first accurate map of what would become Canada It’s comprehensive and doesn’t shy away from some of the unfortunate aspects of David Thompson‘s life I knew some of the basic facts about Thompson from grade 6 history and little bits and pieces I picked up here and there but I had no idea of some of the hardships and dangers he had to deal with during his travels around late 18th early 19th century western Canada I also had no idea that he died in penury which made me very sad He was really one of the fathers of this country he had a vision of Canada extending from sea to sea long before the Fathers of Confederation did I am glad that through a series of circumstances he did finally receive the notoriety and respect he deserves as he ranks right up there with Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser as one of the important early exploreradventurers of this country we call Canada

  6. April Sanders April Sanders says:

    An excellent readable book on a fascinating piece of Canadian history David Thompson died in poverty and both his cartography achievements and arduous trailblazing journeys were only fully appreciated after his death The books portrays a time in Canadian history when Aboriginal people were an integral part of frontier Canadian life respected for their knowledge and skills I intend to read by this author

  7. Ken Ken says:

    This book on David Thompson a fur trader with the Hudson Bay Co and the Northwest Company who during his time with them learned to survey and map His map of western Canada was uite remarkable for its time and was the most accurate for many years after

  8. Rodney97 Rodney97 says:

    Well researched written in flowing prose As others have complained though Jenish offers little help in placing Thompson's travels A book about a map maker without maps? Come on The few faint replicas of his original maps are decoration than guide

  9. Katie Katie says:

    Very interesting book about the exploration of the rivers of Canada around the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition Amazing what people were able to tolerate in terms of geographic and climatic challenges

  10. Binky Bowberg Binky Bowberg says:

    Pro Great biography of the amazing Canadian mapmaker who should have a prominent place in historyCon No readable maps in this book Unbelievable

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Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West➮ [Read] ➪ Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West By DArcy Jenish ➺ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Epic Wanderer the first full length biography of mapmaker David Thompson 1770–1857 is set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries against the broad canvas of dramatic rivalries between Epic David Thompson and the PDF or Wanderer the first full David Thompson PDF/EPUB å length biography of mapmaker David Thompson – is set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries against the broad canvas of dramatic rivalries between the United States and British North America between the Hudson’s Bay Company and its Montreal based rival the North West Company and among Epic Wanderer: Epub / the various First Nations thrown into disarray by the advent of guns horses and alcoholLess celebrated than his contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Wanderer: David Thompson and the PDF \ Thompson spent nearly three decades beginning in surveying and mapping than million suare miles of largely uncharted Indian territory Traveling across the prairies over the Rockies and on Wanderer: David Thompson ePUB ↠ to the Pacific Thompson transformed the raw data of his explorations into a map of the Canadian West Measuring ten feet by seven feet and laid out with astonishing accuracy the map became essential to the politicians and diplomats who would decide the future of the rich and promising lands of the West Yet Wanderer: David Thompson and the PDF \ its creator worked without personal glory and died in penniless obscurityDrawing extensively on Thompson’s personal journals illustrated with his detailed sketches intricate notebook pages and the map itself Epic Wanderer charts the life of a man who risked everything in the name of scientific advancement and exploration.