National Records of Scotland

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Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820)

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820)


Alexander Mackenzie was born in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. He joined the Northwest Fur Company in 1779 in the hope of finding a better life in the New World. In 1788 he established Fort Chipewayan on Lake Athabasca. He discovered what would later be named the Mackenzie River in 1789. At the time he named it the 'Disappointment' as it led to the Arctic sea rather than the Pacific. He went on to become the first European to cross the North American continent. He received a knighthood in 1802 and died in the land of his birth.

Testament of Sir Alexander Mackenzie

National Records of Scotland, SC70/1/32 pp 234-236

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