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Simon Fraser

Fraser, Simon, 1776–1862, Canadian explorer and fur trader. Born in Bennington, Vt., he was taken to Canada as a child. He entered the service of the North West Company in 1792, and in 1801 he was made a partner. In 1805 he was chosen to inaugurate the company's operations beyond the Rocky Mts., and after exploring and establishing trading posts on the upper reaches of the Fraser River, he and John Stuart and 20 companions explored (1808) the same river to tidewater. It was one of the most difficult and dangerous exploration trips on record in North America. He was disappointed to discover that the river he had explored was not the Columbia as he had hoped. In 1811, Fraser was placed in charge of the important Red River department of his company, where he came into conflict with the earl of Selkirk over the Red River Settlement. Fraser's journals of the expedition were edited by W. K. Lamb (1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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