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The Mapmaker's Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau by Jack Nisbet

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The Mapmaker's Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau by Jack Nisbet

4to. pp. xii, 180. profusely illustrated in b/w, some colour. map illustrations. bibliography. index. wrs. Pullman: Washington State University Press, [2005].

Brand New in Publisher's shrink wrap.

ISBN-10: 0874222850 / ISBN-13: 9780874222852


Complex, headstrong, curious, and resourceful, David Thompson is a hero in Canada, yet has remained largely unknown in the United States. Between 1801 and 1812, this fur trader, explorer, and cartographer established two viable trade routes across the Rocky Mountains in Canada and systematically surveyed the entire 1,250-mile course of the Columbia River. In succeeding years he distilled his mathematical notions from dozens of journal notebooks into the first accurate maps of the northwest quadrant of North America. Information from some of his earlier mapwork was even used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Jack Nisbet utilizes fresh research to convey how Thompson experienced the sweep of human and natural history etched across the Columbia drainage. He places Thompson's movements within the larger contexts of the European Enlightenment, the British fur trade economy, and American expansion as represented by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Packed with illustrations, photographs, and maps, The Mapmaker's Eye is a fascinating chronicle of Thompson's life and adventures, especially in the Columbia country.