Do you know.... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Do you know....

01-20-2003, 04:22 PM
How the Columbia River got it's name?

01-20-2003, 04:52 PM
Great great great great great uncle Capt Robert Gray...
He never even sent a card or nothin'...:rolleyes:

01-20-2003, 04:55 PM
Ah...Ah....after the Space Shuttle????:confused:

01-20-2003, 04:57 PM
and who the Thompson is named after:

to pick just three.

01-20-2003, 09:12 PM

Did you know that even though the Thompson is named after the great Huson Bay Company cartographer - he was never there! Thompson's exploration focussed on the Columbia and he was the first European to travel its length, from its headwaters in BC to the mouth at Astoria. His great disappointment was that Henry Astor's party beat him to the mouth (by boat from New York) and claimed it for the United States!

Later, when Simon Fraser made his voyage down the Fraser River he named the great tributary in honour of his mentor. I guess he decided that Thompson needed his name on something!

01-20-2003, 09:26 PM
Yup, I knew the Columbia was 'his' river but I wasn't sure if he had ever set foot on the Thompson. I'd read up on him a fair bit in the past but I don't recall a Thompson River reference.

Typical of us Canucks eh? We've got the best cartographer/geographer the planet's ever seen and virtually nobody knows a thing about him. He beat Lewis & Clark to the West, covered a helluva lot more ground but all we know about is L&C. In fact, the L&C expedition was first launched over concerns about Thompson's activities and what that would mean for land claims out West.

go figure

01-20-2003, 10:51 PM
Is a very good read and pretty much chronicles David Thompsons travels and bussiness dealings. I loaned it out so I can not give you the author, its not on the tip of my head.
One passage that will make alot of the Thompson River fans boil over is the view of the author that "the only thing named after David Thompson is an insignifigant tributary to the Fraser." Other than that one line I found it to be a very fascinating book.

01-20-2003, 11:04 PM
But sure, Thompson was a hotshot geographer BUT...

he didn't take a wooden sail powered ship built in old New England and sail it around Cape Horn and up the pacific side of the americas to take the ship in past Cape Disappointment to claim the virgin river, the greatest salmon and steelhead river in the world at the time - as "Columbia's River".

Then take the ship to China, Hawaii, before sailing back and in a rather uncelebrated way die in poverty for all his courage and skills.

All this decades before Lewis and Clark, and while Capt. Vancouver said you couldn't sail over the bar into the mouth and headed north.

What Thompson had in brains, Gray had in cajones - and obviously had enough brains to get by.

And then there's Shackleton...

01-21-2003, 10:08 AM
Was certainly a very courageous individual but if he had 33% of Amundsens practicality I would suggest that history would show his exposition a success, rather than complete and total disaster that it unfortunately turned into.
Speaking of Dog Sleds its almost time for the "Iditarod" the last great race of man and beast. There still are those among us capable of doing great trials of endurance.
I have read alot of accounts of exploration and hardship but reading about David Thompsons work ethic and his ability to map out the wilderness and cohabitate with hostiles is arguably the story that makes his exploits rank near the top of any list of whos who in these endeavors.

01-21-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by juro
But sure, Thompson was a hotshot geographer BUT...

he didn't sail around in a comfy boat all day, with a crew of sailors doing his every bidding, having a steward serve his meals and a cabin boy for the rest of the servicing. He didn't have a broadside of cannon to discourage hostile locals, he couldn't load up with interesting foods, maidens, and trinkets and he couldn't sail away when he got bored. :razz:

He only walked everywhere - no cojones needed for that, eh?

And about Vancouver not sailing over the sandbar? Some ships draw more water than others. Some captains have more brains than others. :razz:

Cheers from the freezing GWN

01-21-2003, 06:59 PM
John Jacob Astor is the man who claimed the Columbia, by establishing a fort at the mouth. He too took the easy way by boat, just managing to beat Thompson who was coming down the river (no cajones :eyecrazy: ) by a few short months.

David Thompson is widely accepted as the greatest geographer/cartographer to ever set foot in the Americas - who the heck ever heard of that Gray guy (no offense Penguin) - I don't even know his first name and I am a double Geography major :confused:.

01-21-2003, 08:54 PM
Man they really "cook the books" in history texts over the border it seems. :devil:

Perhaps the reason I am so impressed with Capt.Gray's exploits is that he was so uncelebrated.

His son in fact followed and circumnavigated the americas, rounded the horn, continued over the bar, and up the Snake as the first white man to navigate the Snake as I read it. Like father like son. The Gray mansion on the Columbia Gorge is where the son decided to make his home, if I recall he spent his life on the Columbia.

01-22-2003, 01:33 AM

I would be willing to bet that as a Canadian I could tell you more about American history than you could tell me about Canadian history :razz:

Maybe it could be a history "throwdown" at the Seattle show? :devil:

01-22-2003, 04:34 AM
kool - wish I could be there to see it :devil:

01-22-2003, 05:37 AM
No way buddy, I'd just as soon try to out CAST you with a spey rod! :p

Like they say we choose our own heros and these are two "real men" of the frontier. What's being discussed here is not history per se, but (subjective) admiration of hard core dudes who made north america what it is.

And it's not just men, and it's not just old news - what's the name of the 22 year old woman who sailed solo around the world recently. Very revealing to find that something as basic as sleep must be fought tooth and nail to avoid death in an iceberg field.

But I'll take you on for a mean round of paper-rock-scissors any day. :hehe:

01-22-2003, 09:08 AM
See you soon buddy :D