Thompson’s Highway

By (author): Alan Twigg

For his third volume about BC literary history, Alan Twigg traces the writings of David Thompson, Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser and thirty of their peers, mainly Scotsmen, who founded and managed more than fifty forts west of the Rockies prior to 1850.

This lively and unprecedented panorama introduces remarkable but little-known characters such as the wandering artist Paul Kane; the spy Henry James Warre; the botanist David Douglas; the “white slave of the Nootka,” John Jewitt; the devout Christian Daniel Harmon; and John D’Wolf (Herman Melville’s uncle), the inspiration for Moby Dick.

Thompson’s Highway anticipates a wide range of bicentennial events to mark David Thompson’s mapping of the Columbia River, near Golden, BC, in 1807. After the failure of Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser to find a navigable route to the Pacific Ocean, it was the remarkable mapmaker, David Thompson, who was instrumental in creating the “highway” for commerce that connected both sides of the North American continent. Thompson’s exploration and mapping enabled George Simpson, the “Little Emperor” of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and James Douglas, the founding father of the province, finally to bring viability to the corporate fur trade on the so-called Western Slope.


Alan Twigg

Alan Twigg, publisher and editor of ‘B.C. BookWorld’, is the author of eight previous books, including ‘Cuba: A Concise History for Travellers, Intensive Care’ (a volume of poetry), and ‘Twigg’s Directory of 1,001 B.C. Writers’. His articles have appeared in the ‘Globe and Mail, Maclean’s’, the ‘Toronto Star’, the ‘Georgia Straight’, and the ‘Vancouver Sun’. He lives in Vancouver.


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



254 Pages
9in * 6in * .68in


October 15, 2006


Ronsdale Press



Book Subjects:

HISTORY / Canada / Pre-Confederation (to 1867)

Featured In:

All Books



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.