Simpson, Sir George

Simpson, Sir George, 1792?–1860, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada (1821–56), b. Scotland. In 1820 he was sent by the Hudson's Bay Company to Canada, where he took charge of the important Athabaska fur district. Appointed (1821) governor of the northern department of the company (with which the North West Company was merged that year), he became governor of the northern department of the united company and later was made governor of Rupert's Land and general superintendent of the company in North America. Simpson encouraged exploration of his vast realm; his cousin Thomas Simpson explored the arctic coast, and he himself journeyed constantly (twice crossing the continent) from one wilderness trading post to another. His famous “overland” trip (1841–42) around the world, during which he crossed Siberia to St. Petersburg, is described in his Narrative of an Overland Journey round the World (1847). Simpson was knighted in 1841. His journal (1824–25), edited by Frederick Merk, was published as Fur Trade and Empire (1931). E. E. Rich edited his Journal of Occurrences in the Athabasca Department (1938) and Part of a Dispatch … to the Hudson's Bay Company … 1829 (1947).

See biography by A. S. Morton (1944).

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