Mackenzie, Sir Alexander

born 1755?, Stornoway, Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scot.
died March 11, 1820, near Pitlochry, Perth

Scottish-born Canadian explorer.

Immigrating to Canada as a young man, he entered a fur-trading firm in 1779. In 1788 he set up a trading post, Fort Chipewyan, on Lake Athabasca. From there he began an expedition (1789) that followed the Mackenzie River from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. In 1793 he journeyed from Fort Chipewyan through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast, thereby becoming the first European to complete a transcontinental crossing north of Mexico.

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▪ Scottish explorer
born 1764, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scot.
died March 12, 1820, near Dunkeld, Scot.

      Scottish fur trader and explorer who traced the course of the 1,100-mile Mackenzie River in Canada.

      Emigrating to North America, he entered (1779) a Montreal trading firm, which amalgamated with the North West Company, a rival of the Hudson's Bay Company. In what is now the province of Alberta, Mackenzie and a cousin set up a trading post, Ft. Chipewyan, on Lake Athabasca (1788). This was the starting point of his expedition of 1789, which followed the Mackenzie from the Great Slave Lake to the river's delta on the Arctic Ocean. In 1793 Mackenzie crossed the Rocky Mountains from Ft. Chipewyan to the Pacific coast of what is now British Columbia. These journeys together constitute the first known transcontinental crossing of America north of Mexico. His Voyage from Montreal on the River St. Lawrence, Through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, in the Years 1789 and 1793 was published in 1801. Knighted in 1802, he lived in Scotland after 1812.

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Universalium. 2010.

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