Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Simon Fraser


Fraser, Simon (1776-1862), fur-trader and explorer, was born at Bennington, New York, in 1776, the youngest son of Capt. Simon Fraser of Guisachan and Isabella Grant, daughter of the laird of Daldreggan. His father, who joined the Loyalist forces during the American Revolution, was captured by the revolutionists, and died in prison at Albany. His mother came to Canada, and ultimately settled near Cornwall. Simon Fraser, the son, was educated at Montreal, where his uncle, John Fraser, was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas; and in 1792 he was apprenticed to the North West Company. He was employed in the Athabaska department as early as 1799; and he continued to be attached to this department until 1805. In 1801 he was elected a partner of the North West Company; and in 1805 he was placed in charge of the Company's operations beyond the Rocky mountains. In 1808 he explored to its mouth the river that bears his name; and the journal of his exploration has been published in L. R. Masson, Les bourgeois de la Cie. du Nord-Ouest, vol. i (Quebec, 1889). In 1811 he took charge of the Red River department; and in 1817 he was one of those arrested by Lord Selkirk as an accessory to the massacre at Seven Oaks. He retired from the North West Company before 1820, and settled at St. Andrew's near Cornwall, Upper Canada. Here he died on April 19, 1862, aged 86 years. After he returned from the West, he married a daughter of Allan Macdonell, at Matilda, Upper Canada. An account of his life will be found in W. N. Sage, Simon Eraser, explorer and fur-trader (Proceedings of the Pacific Coast Branch of the Amer. Hist. Assoc., 1929).

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 390-391. 


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College