George Simpson (ca. 1787-1860)


  • John W. Chalmers



Biographies, Expeditions, Explorers, History, Hudson's Bay Company, North West Company, Search for Franklin, Simpson, Sir George, ca. 1787-1860, Athabasca, Lake, region, Alberta/Saskatchewan, Canadian Arctic


Sir George Simpson, overseas Governor-in-Chief of the Hudson's Bay Company, is remembered chiefly for his success in integrating the field operations of the rival Hudson's Bay and North West Companies after their union in 1821. No explorer himself, he assisted, albeit reluctantly, John Franklin's first sortie into the Arctic and, more willingly, subsequent Admiralty expeditions. He was also responsible for organizing Company-mounted exploration and searches in the North. ... In 1844, Simpson chose a Company clerk, Dr. John Rae, to head another sortie to the Frozen Ocean. In 1846 Rae led a small party to brilliant exploring success in the northeast corner of the continent. In an 1854 Company-organized foray, Rae discovered the first relics of the lost Franklin expedition. Throughout the long search for Franklin, the Company - under Simpson's direction - assisted such Admiralty expeditions as Dr. John Richardson's with material and personnel, and mounted its own searches, such as James Anderson's 1855 journey. ...






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