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  1. May 2023
  2. Dec 2022
  3. Apr 2022
  4. Aug 2019
  5. May 2017
    1. Alexander MacKenzie

      An Scottish Canadian explorer, Alexander MacKenzie has been called the "first European man to explore the West" or reach the Pacific. He has become a legend, and was one especially in the decades after his journeys. His roots were in Scotland, particularly the Isle of Lewis,which is on the Western end of Scotland in the Hebrides. This area is very Scottish in culture, and one of the few that still speaks some Gaelic. Alexander Mackenzie was born there in 1762. He is recorded to have immigrated from Scotland to Canada in 1774 at the age of twelve. Mackenzie's father had worked hard to give the family a chance at a life, and Mackenzie grew up not poor. MacKenzie's mother's surname was MacIver. MacKenzie was known for his courage and will. These were characteristics that led to his success as an explorer. MacKenzie first arrived in New York. During the outbreak of the Revolution War in the New York area, MacKenzie's father and uncle decided to fight under the crown for England. Alexander found himself in Canada. He joined the fur trade business in the years that followed, around 1789. MacKenzie even had family members come after him to Canada, following in his footsteps. MacKenzie explored the Athabasca. He also explored the further West and North lands that no European had before, reportedly. Many documents show that MacKenzie was quite rude to the Native tribes of the area. Mackenzie's crew included mostly French-Canadians. His voyages were not perfect, and many times he was lost and angry. MacKenzie kept a journal of his adventures, giving us hints at what happened during this legendary quest. MacKenzie trusted another Scot, Alexander MacKay to help him with his quest. However, MacKay ended up being more successful in Pacific trading than MacKenzie did. Today there are many books and histories written on the explorer. In fact, the great river in Canada, MacKenzie River, is named after him.

      Gough, Barry M. First Across the Continent: Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

  6. Apr 2017
    1. Alexander Mackenzie

      Sir Alexander Mackenzie was a Scottish man famous for his North American expeditions. Mackenzie was a fur trader and explorer, who originally resided at the North West Company trading post. Mackenzie is famous for believing in the existence of the Northwest Passage, an Alaskan canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Northwest Passage would provide opportunities for trade (PBS). In 1789, Mackenzie organized a crew of French-Canadian explorers and Native American interpreters to travel by canoe from Fort Chipewyan in search for the Northwest Passage. This expedition helped to create records of the northern parts of North America in the Arctic, rather than prove the existence of a Northwest Passage. In 1973, Mackenzie led a second voyage from Fort Fork along the Peace River. Mackenzie’s crew crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Fraser River. Mackenzie relied on Native Americans for support and guidance throughout his travels. Shuswap Indians warned the crew of the dangers of the river, causing Mackenzie’s crew to take a shorter route overland (CBC). Mackenzie’s party eventually reached the Pacific Ocean and encountered the Bella Coola Indians, who were upset about the presence of Mackenzie’s crew. Despite the concern of an attack from the Bella Coola Indians, Mackenzie became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico on land. Lewis and Clark did not reach the coast until 1805(PBS). King George III knighted Alexander Mackenzie in 1802 for his efforts and success in traversing the North American continent.

      "Alexander Mackenzie-From Canada, by Land." CBCnews. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPCONTENTSE1EP6CH3PA4LE.html.

      "Empire of the Bay: Alexander Mackenzie." PBS. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.pbs.org/empireofthebay/profiles/mackenzie.html.

  7. Apr 2016