Alexander Mackenzie (explorer)

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Alexander MacKenzie by Thomas Lawrence (c.1800).jpg

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820) was a Scottish explorer who explored the area that is now the Northwest Territories. Mackenzie was born in Stornoway, on the Scottish island of Lewis with Harris in 1764. Mackenzie made his fortune as a fur trader in northwest Canada.

In 1789, Mackenzie left Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca with a small party of Canadians and native guides. He travelled north to Great Slave Lake on a boat or a canoe. Then he followed the river that now bears his name, the Mackenzie River. He was the first European to travel on the Mackenzie River. It took him to the Arctic Ocean. He had hoped the river would lead him to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1801 he wrote the book "Voyages on the River Saint Lawrence and Through the Continent of North America, To the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in the Years 1789 and 1793". This book contains information on native tribes and Canadian history of that time period.

He spent his last years in Scotland.