Mapping the Wilderness
June 9, 2008 · Updated 6:43 PM
David Thompsons story is one of the greatest tales of Canadian adventure. From 1790 to 1812, he mapped most of the country west of Hudson Bay and Lake Superior, across the Rocky Mountains to the source of the Columbia River, and the length of the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean.
Born in London in 1770, Thompson showed an aptitude for math and his education was geared towards life as a midshipman in the Royal Navy. In May 1784, he was apprenticed by the Hudson Bay Company and set sail for Canada, never to see England or his mother again.
He began a turbulent life of adventure, travel, work and love, befriended by the First Nations people from whom he learned his survival skills. By the time he finished his explorations, he had travelled some 50,000 miles on foot, horseback and canoe and had charted a continental area so vast it remains a mapping achievement unparalleled in human history.
Tom Shardlow is a biologist and freelance writer who lives on Vancouver Island. Creating bedtime stories for his two daughters inspired him to write Mapping the Wilderness, his first childrens book.
Published by: Napoleon Publishing/RendezVous Press
Available at: local bookstores
List price: $18.95