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First Across the Continent: Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Oklahoma Western Biographies) Paperback – 31 Dec 1997
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Chronicles the perils and triumphs of the intrepid Scotsman who explored Canada's northwestern wilderness.
From the Author
Before Lewis and Clark Alexander Mackenzie found a way west
Lives of explorers and fur traders tell so much about North American early history. The late 18th century in North America offered so many wonderful propects for discovery. The last remaining "prize" was the Northwest Passage, and a trading route to the Pacific. This was Mackenzie's goal, largely achieved. He went north first before he went west, showing remarkable determination (and a willingness to re-educate himself in navigational matters). He was a secretive man, and his letters to his cousin tell of the "inner self." He crossed immense distances, with the help of Canadien voyageurs and native guides and linguists. I found the cross-cultural aspects of the saga fascinating, themes I had written about before in THE NORTHWEST COAST and GUNBOAT FRONTIER. I tried to give exploration history and fur trading a new twist, renewed lease on life. Against the backdrop of Scottish history and British imperial policy making Mackenzie's life has a larger value to the study of history. And I wanted to make this biography of a discoverer a literary gem. It is up to readers to decide if I did so. I wish that there were more Mackenzies to write about.
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