A book written by Grace H. Flandrau
and published by the Great Northern Railway Company
in the 1920's (exact date uncertain) It is only 36 pages long and has plenty of black and white illustrations.
David Thompson spent most of his life (1770-1857) traveling the northwest United States and parts of Canada. He was an employee of Hudson's Bay Company for 13 years and learned surveying and the use of astronomical instruments during a Saskatchewan winter. When the border between the U.S. and Canada was set as the 49th Parallel, Thompson packed a 10-inch sextant, two telescopes, thermometers and drawing instruments in his canoe and surveyed the line. In six years of traveling between Grand Portage and the Rocky Mountains, he acquired the Indian name Koo-koo-sint: "Man-Who-Looks-at-the-Stars". He married a half-Chippewa, half-Irish woman who joined him on explorations. Thompson also helped the North West trading company establish posts on the Kootenai and Columbia Rivers. In 1813-14, he made the first map of the northwest. At his death, David Thompson was destitute and forgotten, despite his accomplishments. His wife, mother of his thirteen children, died three months later.
The influence of the Great Northern Railway is less obvious in this volume than in other books Grace Flandrau wrote for the company. The text is finely written, with a nineteenth-century flavor; it was a pleasure to read.