Fraser, Simon


Fraser, Simon
(1776?-1862)
   Brought to Canada as a child from New York state, his widowed mother settling near Cornwall. Joined the North West Company in 1792, and ten years later became a bourgeois or partner. Served for a time at Grand Portage, and sent to the Athabaska district; in 1805, when the Company decided to carry its operations beyond the Rocky Mountains, put in charge of the new field. After establishing trading-posts in New Caledonia, now northern British Columbia, set out from Fort St. James on Stuart Lake, with Jules Maurice Quesnel, and a party of voyageurs and Indians, upon the exploration of the great river that bears his name. In 1811 promoted to the charge of the Red River department, and offered knighthood as a recognition of his services in the cause of exploration, but declined the honour. Was present at the Seven Oaks affair, when Governor Semple of the Hudson's Bay Company lost his life. Retired from the fur trade about the time of the coalition of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company.
   Index: D In service of North West Company, 57; ordered to extend operations of Company west of Rocky Mountains, 59; reaches Fraser River, 1806, 59; builds forts on Stuart Lake and Fraser River, 59; ordered to explore river to the sea, 60; his journey down the Fraser, 60-61; proves Tacouche Tesse not the Columbia, 61; builds Rocky Mountain House and other posts, 97-98; given command of Red River department, 1811, 98; offered and declines knighthood, 98; dies, 1862, at age of 86, 98. MS Sent to explore New Caledonia, 108; crosses Rocky Mountains, 1806, and builds fort on Stuart River, 108; his journey down the Fraser, 108-110; arrested by Selkirk at Fort William, 189.
   Bib.: Bancroft, History of the North-West Coast; Masson, Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest; Morice, Northern Interior of British Columbia; Bryce, Hudson's Bay Company; Laut, Conquest of the Great North-West; Burpee, Search for the Western Sea.

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