Pond, Peter, 1740–1807, American fur trader and explorer of the Old Northwest, b. Milford, Conn. He served in the French and Indian War and in 1765 became a western trader from Detroit. He later removed to Mackinac and made journeys (1773–75) to the upper Mississippi River country and to Wisconsin. He then went by way of Lake Superior N to the Saskatchewan River. In 1778 he went to the Athabaska district with stock pooled from several traders and established the first post in the region on the Athabaska River. Accused of the murder of a rival trader in 1782, Pond was acquitted when tried. He was included in the organization (1783–84) of the North West Company, but in 1788 withdrew in anger. Pond is best known for his maps of the country covered in his voyages, which he presented to Congress. The accusations that Pond was guilty of violence, dishonesty, and lawlessness appear at least partly unjust. His narratives appear in Five Fur Traders of the Northwest (ed. by C. M. Gates, 1933).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.