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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/210

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202 T. C. ELLIOTT the river afterward named in his honor, and in the month of June of 1807 David Thompson descended the western slope of the Rocky Mountains by way of the pass at the head of the Saskatchewan river, which pass was afterward generously named in honor of a rival trader in the Hudson's Bay Com- pany. The winters of 1807-8 and 1808-9 were both spent at the trading house built by him in July, 1807, on the lower of the two lakes forming the source of the main Columbia ; but explorations down the Kootenay river and a journey back to Fort William to meet his partners engaged his time. In the summer of 1809 he pushed across the Indian road southward from the Kootenay to the Kullyspell (Pend d'Oreille) lake, ex- plored both the lake and rivers below and above it, and spent that winter (1809-10) at a trading house (already mentioned) established near the Flat Head Indians of Montana ; but all the time was gathering information from the Indians as to the courses of the streams flowing to the ocean, and his men were extending their trade and acquaintance with the country during his absence. But the entries in David Thompson's journal tell of more than courage, endurance, intelligence and care ; they show that he was a devout man. His common expressions "thank God" and "thank Heaven" were sincere outbursts of a spiritual na- ture and not mere habitual repetitions. That season of 1811 at midsummer he had an important mission to perform and unknown miles to travel, and yet on Sunday here at Kettle Falls he rested. Five years afterward he was engaged under appointment from the British Government in the important work of directing the survey and establishment of the boundary line between the United States and Canada from Maine to the Lake of the Woods. While thus engaged an associate ob- served and afterward remarked the following : "Mr. Thompson was a firm Churchman, while most of our men were Roman Catholics. Many a time have I seen these uneducated Canadians most attentively and thankfully listen, as they sat upon some bank of shingle, to Mr. Thompson, while he read to them in most extraordinary pronounced French three chapters out of