1785–1843, American explorer, b. Scotland. He emigrated (1807) to Canada and became a fur trader. He joined in John Jacob Astor's Astoria venture, and in 1812 he led the overland party east. This party was the first known to have used the South Pass
and to have followed the main route of the Oregon Trail. Later, as a partner in the American Fur Company
, he directed trade around Mackinac, and he also did much for the development of Michigan.
See P. A. Rollins, ed., The Discovery of the Oregon Trail (1935, repr. 1972); K. A. Spaulding, ed., On the Oregon Trail (1953).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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