Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Thompson was a Canadian fur trader and geographer who worked for the Northwest Fur Company. Between 1808 and 1812, Thompson explored what is now northwestern Montana. During this period, he traveled along the Kootenai, Clark Fork, and Flathead Rivers and his journals provide the first written account of northwestern Montana and Flathead Lake. While exploring in this region he established four trading posts, one of which was in Montana - Salish House. In 1812, Thompson reached his southern limit of explorations in Montana at the site of present day Missoula. Thompson's journals include many well written descriptions of the wildlife and habitat of northwestern Montana. There are several accounts of the size and extent of the coniferous trees in this area. Figure 3 shows the approximate routes taken by Thompson.
Glover, R., ed. 1962. David Thompson's narrative, 1784-1812. The Champlain Society. Toronto. Henry, A. and D. Thompson. 1897. New light on the early history of the greater Northwest. ed. E. Coues. 3 Vols. Francis P. Harper, New York. Hopwood, V.G., ed. 1971. David Thompson's travels in western North America, 1784-1812. MacMillan. Toronto. Thompson, D. 1925. Narrative of the expedition to the Kootenai and Flat Bow Indian countries on the sources of the Columbia River. Oregon Historical Quarterly 26:23-49 Thompson, L.S. 1985. Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists. The Montana Magazine, Helena. Tyrell, J.B., ed. 1916. David Thompson, narrative of his exploration in northwestern America, 1784-1812. The Champlain Soc., Toronto. White, M.C. ed. 1950. David Thompson's journals relating to Montana and adjacent regions, 1808-1812. Montana State Univ., Missoula.