A Portrait Of David Thompson

David Thompson was born 30 April 1770 in Westminster, now a part of London, England. He became an orphan as a young child and at age 7 was sent to Grey Coat Hospital(school). He was taken as an apprentice by the Hudson’s Bay Company and was sent to Churchill(in current Manitoba) arriving 2 September, 1784. In 1787-1788 he overwintered with the Peigan indians near present day Calgary and High River. In 1789-90 he learned astronomy. In May 1797 he left the HBC and joined the rival Northwest Company. On the 10 June 1799 he married Charlotte Small whose mother was a Cree and her father a Scots. Charlotte frequently travelled with him and was a key person in his relations and knowledge of aboriginal people. Eventually they had 13 children. He retired from the fur trade in 1812. In 1817-1827 Thompson was a surveyor for the International Boundary Commission. Thompson died 10 February 1857 and Charlotte died 3 months later.