- John Stuart (explorer)
John Stuart (
12 September 1780– 14 January 1847) was a nineteenth century Canadian fur trader and explorer, employed by the North West Company. Stuart is best known as one of the two clerks (the other being James McDougall) who participated in Simon Fraser's explorations of present-day British Columbia, Canadafrom 1805 to 1808. After Fraser returned to his work in the AthabaskaDepartment in 1809, Stuart was placed in charge of the New Caledonia District from its headquarters at Fort St. James, located on what would be named after him as Stuart Lake. In this position, Stuart was instrumental in establishing a number of new posts, most notably KamloopsHouse. He was also instrumental in disrupting competition by John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. Stuart became a partner in the North West Company in 1813 and a Chief Factorin the Hudson's Bay Companyafter its merger with the North West Company in 1821.
Stuart is noted for his exploration of
Fraser Lake, where he and Fraser built a post, now known as Fort Fraser. Stuart Lakeand Stuart River, both in British Columbiaare named for him. According to Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice, a missionary and historian of northern British Columbia, Stuart "seems to have been one of those well-meaning men who, unconscious of their own idiosyncrasies, make life a burden to others".
At Stuart's initiative, his nephew Donald Smith (later Baron Mt. Royal and Strathcona) was persuaded to come to Canada, where he would play an instrumental role in the building of the Canadian transcontinental railroad.
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=3682 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [http://www.3rd1000.com/history3/era6.htm An account of Stuart's role in the competition between the North West and Pacific Fur Companies ]
* [http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/bcgn-bin/bcg10?name=8733 BCGNIS listing "Stuart Lake"]
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